Non-bank lending giving Australian businesses opportunity to grow


Kevin Wunsh

Australian private finance and investment house Wingate said unmet demand for corporate debt funding had given rise to new opportunities for non-bank lenders to support growing businesses and diversify opportunities for its investors.

Kevin Wunsh, Managing Director Wingate Corporate Investments, said that a shift in the banking system is providing a significant opportunity to deliver debt capital solutions to Australian mid-size companies.

“Australian businesses face a significant void when searching for credit to grow and expand. Traditional banks have changed their approach and seemingly reduced lending and rationed credit following the Hayne Royal Commission and changes to the regulatory environment.

“At Wingate, we believe this opens up a significant opportunity to support Australian businesses and create further diversification for our investors. We are partnering with businesses that display compelling growth potential, with a proven track record of success backed by a strong management team.”

Wingate recently completed a $20 million transaction with Crunch Fitness, allowing the business to fund new sites and continue its expansion. The Crunch Fitness transaction is the latest in a substantial investment pipeline, including debt facilities for one of Australia’s largest independent brewers, Tribe Breweries, New Zealand consumer lender Thorn, and growing invoice and supply chain finance business FIFO.

Wingate invests in established mid-size companies with a broad sector focus and to date have invested in companies across the financial services, hospitality, IT, fitness, and childcare sectors. Transactions are typically between $10m to $40m.

“Mid-size companies are significantly underserviced when it comes to seeking capital. Financing opportunities are typically too large or complex for many alternative non-bank financiers or large family offices, and too small to attract interest from the banks or global debt providers.

“One of Wingate’s key focus areas is the provision of structured funding solutions to support loan book growth of other non-bank lenders. Currently, over 50 per cent of its current corporate lending book comprises facilities in this niche sector.

“Wingate prides itself on its ability to provide flexible, tailored funding solutions to a range of mid-sized businesses. The focus remains on pursuing high-quality credit opportunities with compelling risk adjusted returns.”

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