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ANZ invests in ThinkSmart

THE ANZ Bank has outlaid $6 million to acquire a 16 per cent shareholding in Perth-based financial services company ThinkSmart, formerly known as RentSmart. The investment follows expansion by ThinkSmart into the UK and comes on the eve of its planned move into Spain. Managing director Ned Montarello said the company had also recently launched its SmartCheck service, which utilises its proprietary software on a fee-for-service basis. ThinkSmart, which has annual turnover of $30 million, specialises in processing high volumes of low-value finance transactions, such as business rental facilities for buying computers and printers. It will continue to operate under the RentSmart brand in Australia, while in Europe it offers a similar service under the SmartPlan brand. Mr Montarello said the investment comes after an approach by ANZ, which has been a major funder of ThinkSmart. In addition, ANZ’s finance subsidiary, Esanda, recently trialled the SmartCheck service. Mr Montarello said ANZ bought its equity from existing smaller shareholders rather than injecting new funds. “We can fund our own growth,” he said. “We are able to fund the growth aspirations that we have through the revenue we generate in the business.” Mr Montarello said he continued to control about 40 per cent of the company, while Kerry Stokes’ Australian Capital Equity has a 10 per cent shareholding.

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