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Another major Australian non-bank to list

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    Columbus Capital – the Australian non-bank behind the Homestar Finance lending brand is reportedly in negotiations with JP Morgan and Bank of America to prepare the company for an IPO valuing it at $750m, according to reports from AFR’s well-connected Street Talk.

    Columbus trades through its Homestar Finance and Origin MMS brands – Homestar has been providing home loans since 2004, while the Origin MMS business was previously ANZ’s wholesale distribution arm, and is Australia’s oldest non-bank brand.

    The news follows Liberty Financial’s successful listing deal that valued the company at nearly $2bn, and reports that private equity backed Pepper has resurrected its plans from earlier this year and is aiming for a first half 2021 listing.

    Columbus has been expanding rapidly – it grew its mortgage business by nearly 50% in 2019 to turn a $20m profit after tax.

    Homestar Finance, its public facing home loans brand, made headlines just a few weeks ago when it announced that its ongoing variable rate would be just 1.79% – claiming an Australian first. To get that rate, borrowers needed to have a 40% deposit and a loan of less than $850,000.

    Columbus Capital fast facts:
    Residential Mortgage Book: $6.7bn
    2019 Revenue: $188m
    Established: 2006
    Acquired OriginMMS from ANZ for $2.3bn in 2012
    Purchased direct to consumer lender Homestar in 2018

    Founders/Shareholders:
    Andrew Chepul, CEO – previously treasurer at FirstMac
    Ilias Pavlopoulos, COO – previously card strategy and business development, CBA

    Brands:
    Homestar Finance
    Origin MMS

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    Original Article