Count lends franchisee $900K for purchase

The headof the Count Financial group, Barry Lambert, has confirmed the group has lent $900,000 to one of its largest franchisees in a bid to purchase another accounting firm and bring them under the Count banner.

While not revealing the precise nature of the deal, Lambert says the group concerned is a leading member of the dealer group, with the loan to be finalised on July 1 this year.

Despite the group's stated plans for growth, Lambert says the deal is not a typical one for Count.

"We look at acquiring firms on a case by case basis. But in saying that, we are not interested in becoming a bank or finance company," he says.

Other businesses have approached the Count Financial group with intentions to join its subsidiary, Compound Investments.

Lambert says Compound Investments is in talks with several large dealer groups, which are shying away from licensing agreements under PS 146, with the first of the interested parties likely to be signed to the group by the end of this month.

Lambert declined to release the names of the interested parties, however, he did say that if all deals are successful, Compound’s adviser numbers would grow by 20.

Lambert says many of the groups, which have funds under management of a few $100 million, are realising that the costs of running a dealership exceeds the benefits. This is particularly so with the licensing agreements deadline under PS 146 being March 2004.



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