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01/09/2013

Shareholder urges Cash America to buy shares, spin off unit

SAF Value Fund, which said it has acquired a minority stake in Fort Worth-based Cash America, called for the lender to boost its share repurchases and spin off its Enova International online lending subsidiary. It could not immediately be determined how many shares of Cash America SAF holds, but it has not filed a disclosure with regulators. Cash America, the nation's largest operator of pawn shops, in 2011 said it planned to spin off a majority of Enova, but in July 2012 it said it "has determined not to proceed with the public offering." The company had originally estimated it could raise up to $500 million with the sale. In its third-quarter conference call with financial analysts, Cash America said it had bought 380,000 shares worth about $15 million in 2012, mostly in the third quarter.

SAF said it seeks a spin-off "to not only maximize shareholder value, but also to mitigate potential regulatory exposure stemming from the company's short-term single-payment lending activities." Cash America is a major maker of so-called payday loans, which have faced new restrictions in several states. SAF said the company's shares are undervalued and the moves would allow shareholders to reap the separate value of Enova. SAF and company representatives did not immediately return requests for comment.

-- Jim Fuquay

 

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