Axon Leasing and Finance Zrt. Attracts blue-chip investors

Axon Leasing and Financial Zrt. (“Axon” or the “Company”), the largest non-bank-owned leasing company in Hungary announced today that it has received equity funding from ARX (formerly branded as DBG Eastern Europe), a mid-market focused CEE private equity firm and 3i, the London FTS100 private equity fund, who acted through 3TS Capital Partners in the transaction. The investment was made through a Cyprus-domiciled investment vehicle. The investment, containing both a stock purchase as well as a substantial contribution to Axon’s share capital, totals € 9 M. In addition to this amount, the private equity investors earmarked € 6 million for further expansion in the future.

Axon maintains a solid market position in certain well-defined segments of the leasing market such as the financing of commercial vehicles, machinery and boats. Axon was founded in 1991, and currently ranks among the Top 10 Hungarian leasing companies in truck leasing; is also strong in equipment leasing; and is the market leader in a niche segment: boat leasing. Axon is active in both financial and operational leasing. Axon expects to finance new leasing assets of around € 40 M in 2007 and has a leasing portfolio of € 75 M.

Axon’s core customer focus is the SME market segment, which tends to be under-funded, due to the fact that many SMEs have limited collateral to secure bank loans. Therefore, leasing should assist in driving the growth of the SME segment in Hungary. The current ARX / 3i equity infusion will propel Axon through its next phase of growth and expansion. The new funding will enable Axon to expand into new geographic and product areas. Axon will strengthen its market presence in Western Hungary and is planning to expand into Romania and possibly Serbia or Croatia. Axon sees great potential in its recently launched new division focusing on real estate leasing.

„As an independent leasing company you need to provide superior, value-added service to clients in order to be able to compete with the bank owned leasing firms. Our people are Axon’s greatest assets and we are constantly looking for new talent and experienced professionals. We are very happy to have found such partners as ATX/3i/3TS who are not only committed to support us with funding but also help the development with other important business aspects” – stated Zoltan Kun, Founder & CEO of Axon.