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Flexiti sold to CURO

 5 February 2021     HGO Staff 

TORONTO – For the second time in recent months, a Canadian ‘buy now, pay later’ (BNPL) consumer financing specialist with strong ties to this country’s furniture and appliance retailers has been sold to a larger American provider of non-prime credit. Flexiti Financial has been acquired by CURO Group Holdings for $155 million, including $109 million in cash at closing plus as much $46 million more if certain performance targets are achieved.

The deal is expected to close sometime during the first quarter of 2021 and is subject regulatory approvals. This move follows on the heels of the acquisition of Flexiti’s competitor PayBright by the Seattle-based Affirm this past December.

Based here, Flexiti is a point-of-sale lender specialising in big-ticket goods such furniture, appliances, electronics and jewelry which is offered by some 6,000 retail locations and e-commerce merchants across the country. Its roster of retail partners includes The Brick, Leon’s, Mattress Mattress, Visions Electronics, Trail Appliances, EQ3 and Wayfair, among others. The company’s loan originations are believed to have grown from $49 million in 2017 to over $290 million in 2020.

Headquartered in Wichita, Kansas, the publicly held CURO Group Holdings is currently active in the Canadian market as the owner of pay-day lender Cash Money as well as similar business in the United States.

In a presentation to investors, CURO sang Flexiti’s praises noting at the end of 2020, it has more 160,000 active accounts and an average transaction size of just under $1,600 with a potential market of 1.1 million consumers.

In announcing the deal, the principals said, “The transaction brings together two companies with complementary strengths and a range of credit options to help make customers' lives more affordable and improve their shopping experience.”

After the acquisition closes, Flexiti will continue to operate as a standalone business under the leadership of Peter Kalen, the former Sears Canada and Cantrex Nationwide executive who founded the company in 2013.

“After founding Flexiti, I knew this business was destined for exceptional success,” Kalen said in a statement adding, “Flexiti continues to grow at a rapid rate and this transaction will enable us to accelerate our growth trajectory. I am tremendously proud of the success that Flexiti has achieved in its seven years of operations and I have no doubt we are better positioned than ever to provide great BNPL offerings to our retail partners and cardholders.” 

Related Story: PayBright sold to Affirm

Related Story: Affirm closes PayBright acquisition

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Home Goods and its accompanying newsletter - HGO This Week - covers the furniture, bedding, appliances, consumer electronics, accessories, lamps and lighting and floor coverings product sectors of the big ticket home goods market in Canada. HGO is also a forum for the dissemination of market research and hard-hitting articles on best practices for Canadian retailers.

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