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WesBank poised to buy Carlyle

Carlyle Finance’s takeover by South Africa’s WesBank will provide it with the resources to gain leadership among independent non-High Street-bank owned motor finance lenders.

That is the view of Carlyle managing director Mark Standish and Alastair Cunningham, WesBank head of international operations.

Cunningham says: “We will be reasonably aggressive in the marketplace and there is no reason why Carlyle should not emerge at the top of the sector.”

Standish, whose 125 staff are retained, adds: “There is close alignment between the cultures and business models of the two organizations and both have a burning ambition to be leaders.”

Carlyle, established by JHB in 1977, has enjoyed double-digit growth in four of the past five years, and last year generated £135m of new business.

WesBank, a subsidiary of FirstRand Group, financed 35% of South Africa’s new car market last year and has joint ventures with VW, Toyota and Nissan. The Carlyle purchase, which will be completed on July 1, involves more than £200m-worth of assets.

Agreements between Carlyle and its 2,500 retailer contacts will be honoured and dealers could benefit from a novel South African policy, which pays retailer commission even if its customer’s WesBank finance deal is not initiated by garage sales staff.

Also likely is two-way interactive video and computer links for F&I sales.

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