FirstCash announced the successful completion of the merger of equals between First Cash Financial Services and Cash America International
OREANDA-NEWS. FirstCash, Inc. (the “Company” or “FirstCash”) (NYSE:FCFS) today announced the successful completion of the merger of equals between First Cash Financial Services, Inc. (“First Cash”) and Cash America International, Inc. (“Cash America”). The closing of the all-stock transaction was effective on September 1, 2016. Shares of First Cash and Cash America ceased trading at the close of the NASDAQ Global Select Market and the New York Stock Exchange (the “NYSE”), respectively, on September 1, 2016. Beginning today, the shares of FirstCash will trade on the NYSE under the stock symbol “FCFS.”
Rick Wessel, CEO and Vice Chairman of FirstCash, commented, “The transaction creates the largest combined retail pawn store operator in Latin America and the United States, with over 2,000 locations across four countries. The merged company provides significant scale and a unified platform for leadership in the pawn industry while keeping the strong local presence and established brands from both companies.
The complementary nature of the merger presents substantial opportunities for cost synergies and operating efficiencies. These savings, coupled with the strong existing cash flows from the core pawn operations of both companies, are expected to result in an increased ability to pursue long-term international expansion plans and drive additional shareholder returns through dividends and stock repurchases.”
Pawn operations will continue to be the primary focus of the combined company, with 94% of the combined company’s expected revenue mix coming from pawn-related merchandise sales and pawn service fees.
Management and Governance
FirstCash will be led by a proven leadership team that reflects the strengths and capabilities of both companies. Mr. Wessel will serve as Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer and has over 24 years of leadership experience with First Cash, including the last nine years as CEO. Mr. Brent Stuart, the President and CEO of Cash America before the merger, has over 25 years of experience in the specialty finance industry and will now serve as President and Chief Operating Officer of FirstCash. Mr. R. Douglas Orr will continue in the role of Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, the position he has held at First Cash for the past 14 years. Mr. Dan Feehan, former Chairman of Cash America, will serve as Non-Executive Chairman of the board of directors of the Company (the “Board”).
As previously announced, the Board has approved a plan to increase the annual dividend to $0.76 per share, or $0.19 per share quarterly, beginning in the fourth quarter of 2016, subject to official declaration by the Board.
Consolidated Operations Reporting
The consolidated balance sheet and operating results of FirstCash will reflect the combined results of First Cash and Cash America effective at the close of business on September 1, 2016. The Company expects to initiate earnings guidance for the combined company for the remainder of 2016 in its third quarter earnings announcement which is expected on or about October 27, 2016.
Credit Suisse served as the lead financial advisor to First Cash. Comstock Capital & Advisory Group, LLC and Pi Capital International LLC also served as financial advisors to First Cash. Alston & Bird, LLP served as legal counsel to First Cash. Jefferies LLC served as exclusive financial advisor to Cash America, and Hunton & Williams LLP served as legal counsel to Cash America.
With over 2,000 retail and consumer lending locations in the U.S., Mexico, Guatemala and El Salvador, FirstCash is a leading international operator of pawn stores. FirstCash focuses on serving cash and credit constrained consumers through its retail pawn locations, which buy and sell a wide variety of jewelry, consumer electronics, power tools, household appliances, sporting goods, musical instruments and other merchandise, and make small consumer pawn loans secured by pledged personal property. Approximately 94% of the Company’s revenues are from pawn operations.
FirstCash is a component company in both the Standard & Poor’s SmallCap 600 Index® and the Russell 2000 Index®. FirstCash’s common stock (ticker symbol “FCFS”) is traded on the NYSE, home to many of the world’s most iconic brands, technology business leaders and emerging growth companies shaping today’s global economic landscape.