Athene Holding Ltd., the insurer, has agreed to acquire a controlling stake in consumer lender Aqua Finance, its latest in a series of deals meant to help it find more unusual kinds of debt to invest in.
The purchase values Aqua, which essentially lends to consumers that are financing home improvement projects, at around $1 billion. Athene is purchasing from Blackstone, which will maintain a minority stake.
Apollo Global Management Inc. is in the process of buying the portion of Athene that it doesn’t already own. The asset management firm and Athene have been boosting the loans they make to both consumers and corporations, to help generate investments. Earlier this year, Athene acquired Donlen Corp., a company that finances car fleet leases, from Hertz Global Holdings.
Aqua Finance is a Wisconsin-based consumer lender that originally specialized in financing homeowners’ water treatment projects, and has since expanded to other kinds of home improvement and related areas. It’s expected to make around $2 billion of loans this year. Apollo has consumer and commercial lending platforms that are making loans at a rate of about $80 billion a year.
The transaction is expected to close in the first half of next year. Lazard Ltd. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. are the financial advisers.