EZCorp

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EZCORP, Inc.
Type Public
Traded as NASDAQEZPW
Industry Specialty Consumer Financing
Founded 1974
Founder(s) Courtland L. Logue, Jr.
Headquarters Austin, Texas, USA
Area served United States, Mexico, Europe, Canada
Key people Lachlan Given (Chairman)
Mark Kuchenrither (Interim President and CEO, and CFO)

Products Pawn, Retail, Short-term loans
Brands EZPAWN, Value Pawn, EZMONEY, Crediamigo/Adex, Empeño Fácil, Tuyo, Cash Converters, Cash Genie
Services Specialty Consumer Financing
Revenue IncreaseUS$ 597 million (2009)
Operating income IncreaseUS$ 101 million (2009
Net income IncreaseUS$ 68 million (2009)
Total assets IncreaseUS$ 277 million (2009)
Total equity IncreaseUS$ 415 million (2009)
Employees 7,500
Website [1]

EZCORP is one of the largest pawn shop operators in the world by market capitalization.[2][3] It is a publicly traded company based in Austin, Texas. The company is primarily involved with retail, specialty consumer lending, signature loans and pawn lending.[4]

EZCORP lends or provides credit services to individuals to meet their short-term cash needs. The company makes pawn loans, which are non-recourse loans collateralized by tangible personal property, including jewelry, consumer electronics, tools, sporting goods and musical instruments. The company also offers signature loans, consisting of short-term loans or fee-based credit services, to customers seeking loans from unaffiliated lenders. The company was purchased by a New York Private Equity firm in 1989 with 16 pawn shops and now operates over 1,300 locations in the U.S., Canada and Mexico under the names of EZPAWN, Value Pawn and EZMONEY Loan Services brand names, among others.[5][6] EZCORP had its IPO on September 6, 1991.

EZCORP also holds around 30 percent of the outstanding shares of Cash Converters, which has over 550 locations in Australia and in 21 countries.[7]

In late 2008 EZCORP purchased Pawn Plus and ASAP Pawn (two large Las Vegas based loan providers).[8] In January 2009 EZCORP bought Value Financial, the world's largest privately owned short term credit provider.[5]

In 2007, Business Week named EZCORP on its Hot Growth 100 list.[9]

History[edit]

In 1974 Courtland L. Logue, Jr., opened his first pawn shop in Austin, Texas. He retired as an accountant to build his chain. Logue located these stores near large grocery stores in lower-middle income communities rather than in impoverished neighborhoods. Seeking to counter the stereotype of pawn shops as dingy or seedy, Logue tried to paint his stores in a different fashion.[10]

In 1989, Morgan Schiff & Co. first invested in the company, leaving Logue as CEO. By 1991, Morgan Schiff had become the majority owner, and had decided to take the company public. With the capital injection from Morgan Schiff and the IPO, EZCORP expanded store fronts. Logue struggled as an executive, and Morgan Schiff brought in Vincent Liambase to be CEO. Liambase had previously been the CEO of Blockbuster. Lambiase created three executive-level positions: Chief Financial Officer, Vice President of Operations, and Vice-President of Marketing and Merchandising. At the time he also decentralized certain controls and decision-making responsibilities to the store level, making store managers reported to regional managers. EZCORP used computer technology to facilitate management, with a new point-of-sale computer system and management information systems that allowed regional and central managers to obtain real-time data from individual store systems.[10]

EZCORP continued to open new stores but also closed stores that did not meet certain performance standards. At the end 1995 the company closed an additional 18 stores. At the start of 1996 EZCORP operated 245 stores in 11 states: 147 in Texas; 24 in Colorado; 21 in Indiana; 15 in Alabama; nine in Mississippi; nine in Georgia; eight in Oklahoma; seven in Tennessee; three in Louisiana; one in Arkansas; and one in Florida. To provide another outlet for excess jewelry inventory, EZCORP opened two JewelryLand Outlet stores in Atlanta in September 1996. The 1,500-square-foot (140 m2) stores resembled typical mall jewelry stores but operated like the retail end of a pawnshop. At 60 to 70 percent of actual value, jewelry prices ranged from $10 to $5,000.

EZCORP rebounded from its mid-1990s financial difficulties. In 1998, the company closed only one store, acquired three stores, and established 35 new stores, for a total of 286 stores in operation. EZCORP entered three new markets, California, with six stores in Sacramento, and Las Vegas and Raleigh-Durham, with three stores each. The company attempted to reach a wider audience through the Internet with EZPAWN.com. The web site offered over 400,000 items for sale, but was intended primarily to sell its pre-owned, one-of-a-kind jewelry. A "virtual-photo jewelry tray" contained similar styles of jewelry for display upon request at the web site. In August 2000 Joseph Rotunda, after five months as COO, became CEO at EZCORP, while Lambiase became Vice Chairman of the Board. Rotunda brought experience from Thorn Americas, where he oversaw impressive growth of the Rent-A-Center, Remco, and U-Can-Rent stores, which increased from a total of 700 to 1,400 stores. EZCORP overtook Friedman's Inc. as Morgan Schiff & Co.'s largest investment.

EZPAWN[edit]

The Company’s pawnshops make pawn loans, which typically are small, non-recourse loans collateralized by tangible personal property. As of September 30, 2008, it had approximately 757,000 loans outstanding. A majority of its United States pawn loans earn 20% per month, or 240% annually. Collateral for its pawn loans consists of tangible personal property, generally jewelry, consumer electronics, tools, sporting goods, and musical instruments. The collateral is held through the duration of the loan, which in most United States locations is 60 days and in Mexico is 40 days. EZPAWN also sells electronics, jewelry, tools, musical instruments, and other second hand merchandise.

EZMONEY[edit]

EZMONEY offers signature loans, consisting of short-term loans or fee-based credit services to customers seeking loans from unaffiliated lenders. Signature loans are unsecured. In determining whether to lend or provide credit services, the Company performs a very limited review of customer information. In Texas stores some services consist of advice and assistance to customers in obtaining loans from unaffiliated lenders. The company does not make, fund, or participate in the loans made by the lenders, but earn a fee for assisting customers in obtaining credit and by enhancing their creditworthiness by issuing a letter of credit.

International[edit]

EZCORP recently purchased shares of Cash Converters, giving the company stores in Canada, France, Malaysia, Spain, New Zealand, South Africa and Australia.

In 2012, EZCORP acquired a 60% interest in Grupo Finmart, a specialty consumer finance company headquartered in Mexico City; a 95% interest in Artiste Holding Limited, which provides online loans in the U.K. under the name Cash Genie; and a 51% interest in TUYO, a company headquartered in Mexico City that owns and operates buy/sell stores in Mexico City and the surrounding metropolitan area.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]