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Nicholas Financial evaluates options

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  • | 2:54 p.m. March 21, 2013
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CLEARWATER — Nicholas Financial Inc. announced it has hired a financial adviser to help its board evaluate its next strategic move, including a possible sale.

In a statement, the consumer finance company (symbol: NICK, recent price: $14.92), says it recently received an “unsolicited, nonbinding indication of interest” from a third party regarding a possible acquisition. Its stock price was up more than $1.50 (12%) in early Thursday trading.

Nicholas has retained Janney Montgomery Scott LLC to help evaluate options for the board, including a possible sale of the company or its assets, a potential acquisition or expansion, or acquiring debt or equity financing. In the quarter ending Dec. 31, the company posted net income of $4.57 million on revenues of $17.89 million.

Nicholas turned down “several indications of interest,” including an acquisition offer in April 2011, after hiring Hyde Park Capital Advisors to help review its long-term strategy. At the time, the company said it decided none of the offers was in its best interest. It decided instead to look for opportunities to expand. It has since added eight branch locations. Its latest additions were in July, when Nicholas expanded its Midwest presence by opening new ranches in Chicago, St. Louis and Kansas City.

Based in Clearwater, the firm has 64 branches in the Southeast and Midwest. It specializes in purchasing and servicing auto loans made by dealers.


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