Atlanta fintech GreenSky gets offer of $2.24 billion

Credit: TNS

Credit: TNS

The Goldman Sachs Group is offering a stock swap worth $2.24 billion to merge Atlanta-based financial technology company GreenSky into its digital banking unit.

It’s the second Atlanta high-tech company to receive a multibillion-dollar offer this week, but whether the deal goes through will depend on GreenSky’s stockholders. GreenSky connects banks with customers seeking consumer loans for needs such as home improvements or health care.

Earlier this week, Atlanta-based Mailchimp announced it had agreed to a $12 billion sale to California-based Intuit, which will integrate Mailchimp’s marketing, social media and communication tools into its financial and tax software.

GreenSky’s lending capabilities and marketing will help Goldman Sachs grow its online banking platform, called Marcus. GreenSky has approximately four million customers, and the company has a growing network of more than 10,000 merchants who use it and about 4 million loan customers.

Stephanie Cohen, Goldman Sachs head of consumer and wealth management, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that GreenSky is valuable to the company because it brings a deep pool of established customers. “We have to get customers one at a time,” she said.

And GreenSky adds a point-of-sale business that helps round out Goldman Sachs offerings for its customers, she said.

“The reason we chose GreenSky is it is a market leader in home improvement, and we believe home improvement is really attractive,” she said.

“We think Atlanta is a great market for us to grow talent, particularly diverse talent,” Cohen said.

GreenSky founder David Zalik said he will stay with the company as a Goldman Sachs partner.

“I think one of the reasons that GreenSky has been successful is because of the talent in Atlanta, especially the tech and creative talent,” he said.

“I came in ‘96 with nothing and am very grateful for the business community here that created so many opportunities here for me and my team. And I will continue to be a civic investor in the community and a booster for the city,” he said.

GreenSky went public in 2018 for $23 a share. Its stockholders will receive 0.03 shares of common stock of Goldman Sachs for each share of GreenSky Class A common stock, which is the equivalent of $12.11 a share. The Boards of Directors of Goldman Sachs and GreenSky approved the transaction. GreenSky’s board has recommended that stockholders approve the transaction and adopt the merger agreement, which could close later this year or early next year.

The U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau ordered GreenSky to pay a $2.5 million civil penalty in July for enabling merchants and contractors to take out unauthorized loans for consumers.