CAN Capital is Changing the World’s Most Expensive TireJanuary 16, 2017 | By: Sean Murray
Acting CEO Parris Sanz told the WSJ that what’s happening at CAN Capital right now is akin to changing a flat tire. “We hit a bump in the road and blew out a tire,” Sanz said. “We just need to change out the tire, and we’ll be back on the road.”
But sources say that the company is in the midst of trying to sell off assets including its loan portfolios to raise cash in a hurry. In the span of a few weeks the company has let go of more than half of its employees, has suspended funding new deals, put its top executives on leave, been sued by a shareholder, and suffered a rapid amortization event with its $200 million bond deal. That’s on top of a breach that the WSJ reported with CAN’s $650 million credit facility led by Wells Fargo. A spokesperson for Wells told me they could not provide any comment or information on the matter.
And CAN’s issues aren’t the result of a changing economy, but rather internal systems that couldn’t keep up with their innovations. They’ve even hired a restructuring company to assist them through this crisis. It now being more than a month and a half since the story first broke, the WSJ puts the amount CAN is trying to raise “to strengthen its financial position” at $100 million.
If this is how they go about changing a tire, it may be time they sign up for AAA Roadside Assistance. For the merchant cash advance industry, their predicament is one of the biggest events of the decade by virtue of their history, size and renown. The company has funded more than $6 billion to small businesses since they launched in 1998.
Consider that just a few months ago, CAN was seemingly riding high as it promoted its new lending transparency initiative as part of the Innovative Lending Platform Association. And in July, Sanz represented the MCA & small business lending industry in a congressional hearing dedicated to financial institutions and consumer credit.
CAN’s top competitor is OnDeck whose stock has only inched up 8% since November 29th.
A spokesperson for CAN reiterated that this was an issue that they self-discovered and self-reported. “In the absence of information, people are making incorrect assumptions,” she said. “It affected about 3% of total assets in the portfolio under our senior line. It’s a manageable situation and one we are working through as we position ourselves for success in 2017.”Last modified: January 17, 2017
Sean Murray is the founder of deBanked, an 11-year veteran of the merchant cash advance industry, a casual Lending Club and Prosper note investor, the co-founder of Daily Funder, an alternative lending speaker, consultant, writer, and enthusiast. Connect with me on LinkedIn or follow me on twitter.