– Bain Capital and Lionbridge Financial Leasing (China) Co. Ltd (Lionbridge) jointly announced that Bain Capital has successfully acquired 80% of Lionbridge and has become the largest shareholder of the company, with the remainder held by the management team. This is the largest transaction in China’s financial leasing sector in 2014.
Lionbridge is one of China’s fastest growing financial leasing companies, with the total leased assets at approximately RMB 3 billion at the end of H1 2014. Focusing on China’s small and medium enterprises (SMEs), the company provides leasing services, lease-back services and leasing asset management in four industry verticals: heavy duty vehicles, medical equipment, manufacturing equipment and agriculture equipment.
As industry players align themselves with government policies to help meet SME financing demand, the leasing industry in China is entering a dynamic period of growth. China’s financial leasing sector has grown nearly 40-fold in the last few years, from RMB 8 billion in 2006 to RMB 3 trillion in 2014, making the country one of the world’s biggest leasing markets. However, the penetration rate in China remains low compared to developed countries, indicating huge potential for future growth. Lionbridge recognized that China’s existing financial system is not set-up to serve SMEs and capitalized on this gap by establishing a unique business model and an extensive service network of 174 offices covering 22 provinces, through which bespoke services are provided to local SMEs.