22nd June 2021

Openpay makes its first major UK acquisition with landmark deal for automotive specialist Payment Assist.


Deal will enable Australian-based Openpay to drive significant growth and expand into the UK automotive space.

  • Openpay signs a Share Price Agreement to acquire Payment Assist, a leader in auto repair and maintenance consumer finance
  • Payment Assist is offered at over 7,000 garages across the UK with a merchant network including the AA, Auto HC, BMW, eDynamix, EMaC, Formula 1 Autocentres, Halfords Autocentre, Mini, National Tyres and Autocare and many others
  • The British firm has serviced over half a million customers and has 177,000 Active Customers
  • Transaction accelerates Openpay’s entry into the UK automotive vertical, consistent with its global, differentiated sector strategy, and establishes the company as a major player in the UK BNPL market
  • Payment Assist brand to be retained, with Openpay adding value through data analytics and marketing services
  • Pending FCA approval of a Change of Control application, the acquisition is expected to also provide FCA authorisation, consistent with Openpay’s responsible approach and strategy to enter the regulated credit market.

London, UK – 22 June 2021 – Openpay (ASX: OPY), the Australian fintech buy now, pay later payment solution provider, has finalised a deal to acquire UK Automotive finance company Payment Assist in its first major UK move. The deal, worth over £11.5m, with an earn out component of up to £17m, will give Openpay access to Payment’s Assist’s network of over 7,000 locations across the UK, including well known chains such as Halfords Autocentres, Stratstone, National Tyres and Autocare and many more.

The transaction will catapult Openpay into the UK Automotive service and repair sector, building on its established Retail operation and recent entry into the Healthcare sector. The move will ensure the Australian firm is able to continue to drive growth in the UK and strengthen its offering to UK consumers, providing them with longer, larger and more flexible, interest-free monthly payment plans across multiple areas of their lives.

In Payment Assist, we saw a unique opportunity to acquire a profitable, market-leading player in the £26.7 billion UK addressable automotive market

Michael Eidel, Managing Director and CEO of Openpay

Payment Assist was established in 2013 by Neil Jeffery and Colin Ellard and has helped over 500,000 customers with the often-unforeseen costs of car repairs. British motorists spend an average of £695 each year on vehicle repairs or maintenance and the UK market is valued at over £26 billion per annum. Research from Halfords has shown that 1 in 5 consumers will put off vehicle repairs or maintenance because of the cost. Jeffery and Ellard will stay and continue to work for Openpay’s UK subsidiary, running the automotive operation.

Commenting on the Acquisition, Managing Director and CEO of Openpay, Michael Eidel said:
“In Payment Assist, we saw a unique opportunity to acquire a profitable, market-leading player in the £26.7 billion UK addressable automotive market. The proposed acquisition of this fast-growing business accelerates our automotive market entry and secures a significant foothold for Openpay in the UK. Material growth synergies exist between Openpay and Payment Assist. We also have shared values and a common vision to become the leading BNPS provider in our verticals, globally.

We want to be a responsible provider of alternative payment and credit solutions to our customers – importantly, it’s a core tenet of our strategy to embrace regulation in all of its forms. With this proposed acquisition, Openpay joins with a business that is already embracing UK Financial Conduct Authority regulation and brings a responsible approach to its customers and merchants. I look forward to welcoming Payment Assist into the Openpay family.”

Neil Jeffery, Managing Director at Payment Assist commented, “By teaming up, Payment Assist and Openpay bring combined expertise and market knowledge which is unrivalled in the UK automotive industry. We are delighted to be joining with Openpay and look forward to the benefits we can bring to merchants and customers.”

Andy Harding, Openpay UK Managing Director said “This is a very important milestone for Openpay UK as we execute our vertical growth strategy and build into our core strengths of flexible plans and responsible lending. The Payment Assist team has built an excellent market-leading business that aligns with our values and customer first philosophy, and we are excited that we have a shared vision for the success of Openpay as one of the UK leaders in deferred payments.”

By teaming up, Payment Assist and Openpay bring combined expertise and market knowledge which is unrivalled in the UK automotive industry.

Neil Jeffery, Managing Director at Payment Assist

The Payment Assist acquisition demonstrates Openpay’s differentiation from its peers in the “pay-in-4” space and highlights the strong global growth and profitability potential of Openpay.

The deal is thought to be one of the largest acquisitions made by a BNPL firm in the UK to date. Openpay will retain the Payment Assist brand, with the business having over 177,000 active customers and an excellent rating on Trustpilot. Openpay will seek to accelerate the growth of the business through its sophisticated data analytics and marketing expertise.

The deal is expected to close in the second half of calendar year 2021, pending FCA approval.

For further information, please contact:

Lewis Durkin or Steele Paulich, Brands2Life
Tel: +44 (0)20 7592 1200