Is value of brothers' company set to soar to $5 billion?
THE wealth of Bundaberg farmer Peter Greensill, and his brother Lex, who heads up London-based bank Greensill, could be significantly boosted if a $900 million investment from Japanese conglomerate SoftBank comes to fruition.
The Australian reported SoftBank, the largest investor in Uber, was set to secure up to 20 percent of Greensill, which is the second largest player in the global supply chain financing behind US investment bank Citi.
Greensill (formerly known as Greensill Capital), was founded in 2011 and its worth sky-rocketed to $US1.64 billion after the international company accepted an institutional investment from General Atlantic, which invested a quarter of a billion dollars in Greensill last year.
It made Lex and Peter, who runs Greensill Farming Group, billionaires overnight, but The Australian reported Greensill could be worth more than $5 billion if the deal with SoftBank comes off.
Fintech Greensill delivers supply chain finance to more than 1.5 million small businesses across 56 countries.
Last year, on a visit to Bundaberg, Lex told the NewsMail Greensill's business model worked by connecting customers (small companies) with the lowest cost sources of capital in the world.
To help understand how it worked, Mr Greensill said to picture yourself sending a bill to a major company like Telstra for a service your company provided them.
"As soon as you send that bill, you get paid. You don't have to wait, we pay you straight away at Telstra's cost of money, not yours," he said.
"It means people can borrow money very very cheaply, because we're giving people the ability to borrow money at the rate companies like Telstra can.
"Delivering ultra cheap money to people, that's the reason we've been able to grow."
The idea stemmed from Mr Greensill's roots in Bundaberg.
"My mum and dad are farmers and Andrew, Peter (his brothers) and I are the farmers of this generation. That's what gave me the initial impetus and in some sense obsession of helping Aussie battlers get ahead," he said.
"We took an idea, in a way, that started with the Bundaberg Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association, which was focussed on making sure farmers got paid promptly and fairly, and that idea has morphed over time into the business we are today."