Brazil-based payments processor Conductor raises $150M led by Viking Global Investors to expand in Latin America (Reuters)


Brazil-based payments processor Conductor raises $150M led by Viking Global Investors to expand in Latin America  —  SAO PAULO/NEW YORK (Reuters) – Brazilian payments firm Conductor has raised $150 million in a private funding round to expand its business in Latin America ahead …

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IT HURTS: $150m in construction could grind to a halt

CONSTRUCTION worth up to $150 million could grind to a halt on the Northern Rivers due to the continued border closure with Queensland.

The NSW and Queensland chapters of the Master Builders Association have written to the Queensland Premier and Deputy Premier highlighting their concerns.

Many companies have employees living on either side of the NSW/Queensland border who can’t get to work.

It’s estimated that it could impact up to a 1000 workers who have applied for exemptions online but haven’t heard anything back from the Queensland Government.

In addition, the supply chain is broken and southern Queensland is an important centre for many specialities not available in northern NSW.

According to Peter Leotta, president of the Master Builders Association Tweed division, the construction industry on the Northern Rivers is effectively in “limbo”.

“There was no industry consultation when these new [border] changes were made, they were effective immediately,” he said.

“What it has done left tradesmen locked out of work already underway.

“It has basically slowed down about $150 million across the building industry or come to a grinding halt in some cases.

Mr Leotta said the construction industry worked on the foundation of ‘you need to go where the work is’, yet tradies could not.

“There are nearly 1000 applications for exemptions applied for online by contractors, builders and suppliers from both sides of which have not been acknowledged or replied too

“As these delays continue it places families in financial hardship and increases the risk and rate of mental health concerns.”

Several examples were cited where suppliers for certain aspects of the building trade were based in south east Queensland and not the Northern Rivers.

The lack of materials flowing across the border meant projects were now in jeopardy.

The NSW Master Builders Association consulted with five major building companies undertaking work across the region.

Each builder had an average of 70 to 80 homes, either currently under construction or in the documentation phase.

“It is estimated that each of these projects referred to above has approximately one to two weeks of construction that can be achieved before hitting a supplier or trade roadblock preventing it from moving any further forward,” the association stated in its letter to the Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.

The five major builders operating in the region all accessed roofing materials from a business located on the Gold Coast.

Contractors recently had been notified that all roof installations scheduled had been cancelled.

In its letter to the premier, the Queensland Master Builders Association outlined a solution where the industry could be COVID safe.

They are also lobbying for a border pass specifically for construction workers.

“This will allow Queensland and NSW construction workers to cross the border more easily and allow for consistent application of the exemptions for Queensland construction workers at the border,” it states.

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‘Aussie’ John Symond sells $150m superyacht ‘Hasna’


Aussie John Symond has sold his 73-metre super yacht, Hasna

‘Aussie’ John Symond knocked back an offer of $100m on his Point Piper mansion a few years ago, but he has managed to offload his $150m superyacht.

Symond put the 73-metre long luxury motor yacht ‘Hasna’ up for sale a year ago with an asking price of $160m, with the intention of upgrading to something even bigger.

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Now, despite COVID-19, it’s sold — but not before a $10m price drop.

A spokesman for Symond today confirmed the sale, saying the Aussie Home Loans founder hadn’t been on the boat for more than a year. “And it doesn’t look like he’d be using it anytime soon,” the spokesman said.

The jacuzzi on ‘Hasna’.

Bridge deck sky lounge

Bridge deck dining

The stunning outdoor entertainment areas.

The plan to get something bigger has apparently gone out the window due to the changed travelling conditions.

Among the superyacht’s highlights are an eight-metre infinity pool, a jacuzzi, a 10-seat cinema, a wellness centre and massage room, a lift, an inside-outside bar, sun deck lounge and even a hairdressing salon.

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Symond Party

Aussie Home Loans founder John Symond his wife, Amber, at the annual Christmas cocktail party they hold at their Point Piper mansion in 2016. Photo: Brianne Makin

8m x 2,5m swimming pool with swim jet

The superyacht also has an eight-metre infinity pool where you can even watch a huge-screen TV.

The man who made his fortune from home mortgages bought the boat for more than $104m in 2017, soon after he withdrew his Wingadal Pl waterfront trophy home from the market.

The plan had been for Symond and wife Amber to tour Europe on ‘Hansa’, which is one of the best private superyachts in the world.

The identity of the purchaser isn’t known, or whether it took a further discount to sell it.

House at 2 Wingadal Place, Point Piper, NSW, the most expensive suburb in Sydney. The property belongs to Aussie Home Loans founder John Symond.

John Symond’s Point Piper waterfront mansion … he knocked back an offer of $100m in 2016.

John Symond engagement

John Symond with the then Amber Keating at the time of their engagement, Valentines Day, 2015, outside the Point Piper mansion. Picture: Toby Zerna

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Aussie John’s superyacht in the Italian resort town of Portofino.

At $150m, that’s $50m more than the Australian house price record, which was achieved, when, unlike Symond’s, a Point Piper waterfront did actually sell for $100m last April.

Tech billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes bought the Fairfax waterfront estate ‘Fairwater’.

Master cabin

Lower deck guest cabin

One of the bedroom suites.

The stunning Hasna yacht.

‘Hasna’ has been renamed ‘Lunasea’ by its new owner since the sale in recent weeks.

It has accommodation for 12 guests and a crew of up to 21.

The sale occurred via leading superyacht companies and Burgess. chairman Gary Wright said demand for well-built yachts was strong but added: “Completing a sale of this magnitude in the current climate has taken an extraordinary amount of commitment from everyone involved.”

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Cashies extends $150m deal | Business News

Cash Converters is claiming a solid balance sheet after it extended a $150 million securitisation facility, following a turbulent time for the payday lender.

The Perth-based business said the securitisation facility with Fortress Investment Group would have expired at the ended of 2020, but the term will now end in December 2022.

The finance facility was signed in 2016 and is against Cash Converters International’s small and medium contract loan books and auto loan book.

Chief executive Sam Budiselik said it was significant in the current economic environment.

It comes after a tumultuous period in Cash Converters’ executive suite.

In February, Brendan White resigned as chief executive officer, with the company saying in an ASX announcement it was due to family commitments.

That came just more than a year after Mr White was picked for the role, in late 2018.

Mr Budiselik was promoted from the role of chief operating officer, where he had served since 2017.

In March, chief financial officer Michael Murphy was revealed to be leaving the organisation in September.

The announcement came only four months after his appointment, in November 2019.

Business News understands he has already departed.

Mr Murphy was replaced by Leslie Crockett.

The company posted a $19.4 million loss for the six months to December 2019, more than triple the loss for the prior corresponding period.

COVID-19 economy

The securitisation deal would help keep the company’s balance sheet strong, Mr Budiselik said today.

The company also said data from the National Credit Providers Association showed short term credit applications approved in the first four months of the year had fallen 24 per cent compared to the same period in 2019.

“While early signs of recovery are visible, the ultimate impact of COVID‐19 is yet to be fully realised by Australia’s economy,” Mr Budiselik said . 

“The scale of support provided by the government has been unprecedented and we have seen its impact in the softening of demand in our personal finance products. 

“However, as Australia’s economy startsto emerge from ‘lock‐down’ we have seen the beginning of a recovery in lending volumes, and while we enter the new financial year with smaller loan books, we operate from a position of balance sheet strength.

“We anticipate that, as Government stimulus continues through the first half of this financial year, lending volumes will increase only moderately, and our loan book levels will therefore remain subdued.

“Looking further ahead to financial year 2022, we are confident that both lending volumes and our loan books will return in line with a wider market recovery.

“Our balance sheet, bolstered by the renewal of our Facility, and the prudent measures we have taken in recent months ensures that Cash Converters is ideally positioned now and into the future.”

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