Houlihan Lokey Advises SMART Financial Holdings

Houlihan Lokey is pleased to announce the successful placement of equity financing for SMART Financial Holdings, LLC (SMART). The transaction closed on November 22, 2016, with the initial $47.5 million of proceeds ($75 million total expected investment) utilized to purchase three North American pawn franchises—First National Pawn, Cash Canada, and Pawn 1st—which were simultaneously closed upon funding of the transaction. Houlihan Lokey served as the exclusive financial advisor to SMART Financial Enterprises, Inc. and assisted SMART in initiating, structuring, and negotiating the transaction.

SMART is a pawn holding company seeking to consolidate the pawn industry in the Americas. With its initial funding, it has acquired three pawn franchises located in the U.S. and Canada, with a total of 36 existing stores. First National Pawn is based in Sioux Falls, S.D., and has six stores in North Dakota and South Dakota; Cash Canada is based in Alberta, Canada, and has 18 stores in Alberta, British Columbia, and Saskatchewan; and Pawn 1st is based in Phoenix, Ariz., with 12 stores in Arizona. SMART draws upon the experience of a team of seasoned pawn industry executives in providing an unmatched combination of operating and consulting experience. SMART's vision is to build a high-growth, highly profitable, global enterprise to serve the "unbanked" consumer finance community that is currently being underserved by traditional lenders.

This transaction underscores Houlihan Lokey's ability to successfully complete complex transactions in niche consumer finance asset classes.

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