BANK of Queensland (ASX: BOQ) has today announced its $40million acquisition of Virgin Money Australia (VMA), the Australian retail financial services arm of the Virgin Group.
The deal is the latest attempt by Virgin founder Richard Branson (pictured) to grab a slice of the financial services market in Australia.
The agreement extends BOQ’s reach into currently untapped, complementary customer and market segments, providing the company with exclusive use of the VMA brand in Australia for up to 40 years in return for an ongoing royalty.
Virgin Group will have a seat on the BOQ board, financial services executive Brian Bissaker has been appointed CEO of VMA and incumbent VMA managing director David Curneen will leave the business.
Branson says Australia remains one of groups most important markets.
“I am excited that, in partnership with BOQ, we will be able to develop more leading products and distribute them even more widely, so many new customers will get to experience the benefits of Virgin Money,” says Branson.
“I look forward to Virgin Money Australia becoming a truly national player.”
BOQ managing director and CEO Stuart Grimshaw says the acquisition immediately increases opportunities for new customer markets.
“It will enable us to sell BOQ-manufactured banking products marketed under the Virgin Monday Australia brand to customers who would be unlikely to walk into one of our branches and provides a low risk, high potential entry point into online funds management distribution with an established brand,” says Grimshaw.
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