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Apr 15, 2019

Fintech firm Mogo acquiring Michael Wekerle’s Difference Capital

Difference Capital deal will give us significantly more financial resources: Mogo president

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Online lender Mogo Finance Technology Inc. (MOGO.TO) announced Monday it has agreed to acquire Difference Capital Inc. (DCF.TO), the Toronto specialty investment firm co-founded by Michael Wekerle in 2012.

Under the terms of the deal, each common share of Mogo will be exchanged for one common share of Difference, and former Mogo shareholders will own approximately 80 per cent of the combined company. Difference currently owns a 23 per cent stake in Mogo.

The combined company is expected to be named Mogo Inc., and David Feller – who founded Mogo in 2003 – will be chairman and CEO.

Difference said in a release that co-founder and current CEO, Henry Kneis, has resigned from its board of directors, but will continue to lead the company through the transaction. Kneis will retire once the transaction –  which is subject to shareholder and regulatory approvals but is expected to close in the second quarter of 2019 – is complete.

Wekerle, executive chairman of Difference, said the combination of the two companies provides an “outstanding opportunity.”

“Since its formation in 2012, Difference has made numerous investments in emerging technology and growth companies, and we are very excited about the next evolution and prospects of Difference with the combination with Mogo, the Canadian non-bank fintech leader,” he said in a release.

Mogo said the deal will provide the company with access to approximately $9-$10 million in cash. Mogo will also gain control of Difference’s investment portfolio, which includes private technology companies like Hootsuite Media Inc. and Vision Critical Communications Inc.

"This transaction enables Mogo to continue to invest in new products and innovation, building on our leadership position in the Canadian fintech space," Feller said in a release.

Shares in Difference slumped more than 13 per cent to $3.80, while Vancouver-based Mogo rose 11.69 per cent to $3.44 as of 9:47 a.m. ET on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Mogo’s stock has struggled since its initial public offering in 2015, when it debuted at $10 a share.