All employees will be retained at Greensill’s wages on demand platform Earnd, after it was bought by Wagestream for an undisclosed sum.
All employees will be retained at Greensill’s wages on demand platform Earnd, after it was bought by Wagestream for an undisclosed sum.

Carve-up of Greensill empire begins

The carve-up of Greensill's empire has begun, with the collapsed financier's administrators selling the wages on demand platform, Earnd, to a British fintech.

Wagestream has acquired Earnd, which Greensill bought from an Australian start-up for about $2m in March last year.

The deal will allow the platform to keep running in Australia and the UK, with Wagestream acquiring its Australian operations as well as the brand and licence in Britain.

Greensill's administrators, led by Matt Byrne from Grant Thornton, said all employees would be retained under Wagestream's ownership.

He did not disclose the sale price but said it would return "value" to Greensill Capital Australia, which has received creditor claims totalling almost $5bn.

"We are pleased for Wagestream and the certainty that this transaction brings for the continuation of the Earnd brand in Australia," Mr Byrne said in a statement.

 

"We welcome the announcement that all the employees were retained with the preservation of their entitlements and value returned to the shareholder, Greensill Capital Pty Limited.

"Further details in relation to the transaction will be provided by the administrators in their next report to creditors. Until then we can't provide any more detail."

One of Earnd's biggest customers was the UK National Health Service, which Greensill gave free access to the platform last year. The platform involved Greensill paying the wages of an organisation's employees earlier, with the financier collecting the cash from the employer at the end of the cycle.

After signing up the NHS, Greensill founder Lex Greensill hoped to win over the Australian government and extend the service to 150,000 public servants.

But former finance minister Mathias Cormann dismissed Mr Greensill's pitch after meeting him at Davos last year and the finance department said it was "economically similar to payday lending". Mr Greensill strongly disputed this claim.

"We waived all of the fees that had been commercially negotiated for employees to pay and we made it free for everybody," Mr Greensill told The Australian in December.

"I'm not sure how being able to be paid for free every day is economically similar to payday lending."

Several employers in Australia have signed up to Earnd, including Hungry Jack's, JD Sports and The Adecco Group.

Originally published as Carve-up of Greensill empire begins


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