Liberty Tax acquired by NextPoint

Cecilia Nysing

NextPoint Acquisition Corp. has completed its acquisition of tax preparation franchiser Liberty Tax from the latter’s parent company, Franchise Group Inc., of Orlando, Florida.

Franchise Group received some $182 million in cash and some $67 million in shares of NextPoint, a special purpose acquisition company based in British Columbia. The cash was used to pay outstanding debt, Franchise Group said.

The deal was originally announced in February.

Analysts said NextPoint plans to combine tax preparation with loans. Integration of Liberty Tax and LoanMe, which the company also recently acquired, has begun, with loans available in many company stores and franchised locations, said NextPoint Financial CEO Brent Turner.

“We have significant interest from our network of approximately 1,300 franchisees to accelerate the roll-out of loan products and this will be complemented by an expanded offering that will include near prime loans, mortgages, insurance products, bookkeeping and other ancillary services,” Turner added, in a statement.

Franchise Group Inc. took ownership control of Virginia Beach, Virginia-based Liberty Tax in 2018 after the company’s founder and former CEO, John Hewitt, was fired and forced to sell his controlling shares.

In a statement, Franchise Group president and CEO Brian Kahn said, “I want to thank all of the Liberty associates and franchisees for their positive impact on Franchise Group. We look forward to being a significant shareholder of NextPoint and we remain optimistic that as an independent public company NextPoint can accelerate their plan to scale a year-round diversified financial services platform.”

News outlets said LoanMe is a California-based lender that’s been known to issue high-interest loans and have regulatory issues in the past.

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