Response to media speculation

You might have read or heard about two articles published in the Australian Financial Review on 24 May 2013 and then again on 05 June 2013 regarding the potential sale of Smartsalary. They are provided below for your reference.

Given this press speculation, I wanted to assure you that while the shareholders of Smartsalary continue to assess their strategic options in relation to the business, at this point in time they have not finalised their views on the way forward.

As you may know, Smartsalary has had changes in ownership twice before in 2006 and again in 2012, and through each change, the company has continued to grow and thrive.

Whatever our ownership structure, we will continue to pursue our objectives of making Smartsalary a great place to work and offering our customers the best service in the industry. We believe that it is precisely because of this success that there continues to be interest in the ownership of Smartsalary.

The key message for all stakeholders in Smartsalary is that it is business as usual.

We will keep you posted as and when we have more information to share. In the meantime, should you have any further questions in relation to this matter please do not hesitate to contact me.

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Article from Australian Financial Review – 24 May 2013

Smartsalary auction on the horizon as Pact deal closes
Edited By Sarah Thompson, Anthony Macdonald And Gretchen Friemann

Macquarie Capital is preparing to launch the auction for one of Australia’s largest outsourced salary packaging companies, Smartsalary, in a deal that could be worth as much as $200 million.

An information memorandum will be sent to prospective buyers within six weeks for the company, which specialises in novated leasing.

A listed comparable would be McMillan Shakespeare, which trades on a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.8 times current year earnings. A trade sale is the chosen exit route at this stage although an initial public offering has not been ruled out.

In Australia, a novated lease is a three-way agreement between an employer, employee and lease company, under which the employee leases a vehicle from the lease company, and the employer agrees to take on the employee’s obligations under the lease. Macquarie is said to have snared the advisory mandate thanks to the investment bank’s long-standing relationship with Smartsalary CEO Deven Billimoria.

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Article from Australian Financial Review – 5 June 2013

FleetPartners could snaffle Smartsalary before IPO
Edited By Sarah Thompson, Anthony Macdonald And Gretchen Friemann

Ironbridge Capital’s vehicle fleet-leasing firm FleetPartners is expected to make at least one more acquisition before it seeks an ASX listing, sources have told Street Talk Online.

FleetPartners is believed to be focused on more growth before hitting the ASX boards, both organically and acquisitively. It has already retained Credit Suisse for an initial public offer tipped for the end of this year or the start of 2014.

One asset that could appeal to FleetPartners is Smartsalary, one of Australia’s largest outsourced salary packaging companies. Smartsalary specialises in novated leasing and is being sold by Macquarie Capital. Sources have suggested it could be worth as much as $200 million.

In Australia, a novated lease is a three-way agreement between an employer, employee and lease company, under which the employee leases a vehicle from the lease company, and the employer agrees to take on the employee’s obligations under the lease.

FleetPartners, backed by private equity firm Ironbridge and the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation, is pegged to make a pretax profit of just over $70 million this year.

There had been some speculation Fleet Partners may be headed for a trade sale rather than an IPO. But it is understood Ironbridge held informal talks with trade players Maxxia and GE early last year, the focus is on bulking up the business before a float.

FleetPartners competes with the likes of General Electric-owned Custom Fleet, which has 140,000 vehicles under management in Australian and New Zealand, and ORIX Australia, the largest fleet management group in the Asia-Pacific region.

The obvious listed comparables are McMillan Shakespeare and Flexigroup, which trade on forward price-to-earnings ratios of 17 times and 16 times, respectively.

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Deven Billimoria
Chief Executive Officer
Smartgroup

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