Stephen Smith and U.S. private equity firm Centerbridge Partners have acquired Walmart Canada Bank from discount retailer Walmart Canada Corp.
No financial terms were disclosed.
Concurrent with the deal’s closing, the bank, which will be renamed Duo Bank, agreed to continue to provide new and existing financial services products through Walmart Canada.
CEO Trudy Fahie said the bank will work with Smith and Centrebridge to execute on its long-term growth strategy.
Smith is chairman and CEO of Canada’s First National Financial Corp. He is also one of the backers of Peloton Capital Management, a Canadian private equity firm launched last year.
Stephen Smith and Centerbridge Partners, L.P. Complete Acquisition of Walmart Canada Bank
MISSISSAUGA, ON, April 1, 2019 /CNW/ – Walmart Canada Corp. (“Walmart Canada”) today announced the closing of the previously signed acquisition of Walmart Canada Bank (the “Bank”) by a partnership of Stephen Smith and affiliates of Centerbridge Partners, L.P. (“Centerbridge”), a private investment firm with a strong history investing in banks and other financial institutions. Concurrent with closing, the Bank entered into a program agreement with Walmart Canada Corp. (“Walmart Canada”) to provide for the continued operation of existing and the introduction of new financial services products across Walmart Canada’s footprint.
“We are encouraged by the prospects ahead for the Bank and look forward to continuing to work together with the talented team there to help provide affordable financial products for our customers,” said Lee Tappenden, president and CEO, Walmart Canada.
“The closing of this transaction represents a new and exciting phase for the Bank, our talented associates, and our customers,” said Trudy Fahie, Chief Executive Officer of the Bank. “We look forward to working together with Stephen and the Centerbridge team, who bring deep financial services expertise, as we execute our long-term growth strategy for the Bank while continuing to stay true to our mission of providing value-driven financial products that are clear and simple.”
“The Bank has a strong track record of achieving results and I look forward to growing the business as the Bank continues to work with Walmart in providing value for Canadians, through affordable financial products and services,” said Stephen Smith.
“The Bank has built an impressive platform focused on delivering excellent customer service and value. We are excited to be partnering with Trudy and management to continue this mission and to support the Bank’s next phase of growth and partnership with Walmart Canada,” said Miriam Tawil, Managing Director at Centerbridge.
The Bank will be rebranded with a new name – Duo Bank.
About Walmart Canada Corp.
Walmart Canada was established in 1994 through the acquisition of the Woolco chain and has grown to more than 400 stores nationwide serving more than 1.2 million customers every day. Walmart Canada’s flagship online store, walmart.ca is visited by 600,000 customers daily. With more than 85,000 associates, Walmart Canada is one of Canada’s largest employers and is ranked as one of the country’s top 10 most influential brands.
About Duo Bank
Duo Bank is a Canadian Bank founded on a mission to provide value-driven financial products that are clear and simple, to help Canadians focus on what matters to them. Duo Bank specializes in turnkey and customizable financial services solutions designed to deepen customer loyalty and grow sales. The growing complement of products and services includes credit card, rewards and related protection services. With a value-driven approach to financial services, robust sales channels and innovative and efficient operational solutions, Duo Bank partners with industry leading service providers to deliver the next generation of financial solutions.
About Centerbridge Partners, L.P.
Centerbridge Partners, L.P. is a private investment management firm employing a flexible approach across investment disciplines – from private equity to credit and related strategies, and real estate – in an effort to find the most attractive opportunities for our investors and business partners. The firm was founded in 2005 and as of December 2018 has approximately $28 billion in capital under management with offices in New York and London. Centerbridge is dedicated to partnering with world-class management teams across targeted industry sectors and geographies to help companies achieve their operating and financial objectives. For more information, please visit www.centerbridge.com.
About Stephen Smith
Stephen Smith, one of Canada’s leading financial services entrepreneurs, is the Chairman, CEO and Co-founder of First National Financial Corporation, Canada’s largest non-bank mortgage lender with $100 billion of mortgages under administration. He is the Chairman of Canada Guaranty Mortgage Insurance Company, which he owns in partnership with Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan and is the largest shareholder in Equitable Bank, Canada’s leading alternative lender and the country’s ninth largest bank. In 2015, Queen’s University announced the naming of the Stephen J.R. Smith School of Business at Queen’s University in honour of Mr. Smith and his historic $50 million donation to the school.
For further information: Diane Medeiros, Corporate Affairs, Walmart Canada, Diane.Medeiros@walmart.com, 416-356-1654; For Centerbridge: Jeremy Fielding / Anntal Silver, Kekst CNC, 212-521-4800