Germany's Varengold Bank Agrees to Buy 20% of Bulgaria's Klear

Germany's Varengold Bank Agrees to Buy 20% of Bulgaria's Klear

Germany's Varengold Bank said on Monday that it has agreed to acquire a 20% stake in Bulgarian peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platform Klear, with the deal expected to be wrapped up by the end of June. Varengold Bank will invest 1.5 million levs ($857,000/767,000 euro) in Klear in the form of an equity investment and a loan which will be used to expand the platform's operations in Bulgaria and Southeast Europe (SEE), the German lender said in a statement.Varengold Bank did not clarify what part of the total sum will be in the form of an equity investment and what part a loan.According to commercial register data, Klear Lending, which operates the platform, has a registered capital of some 1.956 million levs. At the end of 2017, the company was majority owned by private investor Loic Le Pichoux, who held a 72.87% stake.The company booked a net loss of 476,000 levs in 2017, compared to a net loss of 15,000 levs in 2016, according to its latest available financial statement. Klear Lending's operating revenue increased sharply to 619,000 levs in 2017 from 32,000 levs in 2016.Varengold Bank set up a branch in Bulgaria in last year and announced at the time that the branch is the lender's first step towards expanding its operations across SEE.

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