First Cash acquires 211 pawn stores in Latin America

First Cash Financial Services said last week it is acquiring 211 pawn stores in Latin America from a private Mexico-based company.

First Cash, based in Arlington, Texas, which operates pawn stores across Mexico, will be adding 166 stores in Mexico and 45 stores in Guatemala and El Salvador, which are new markets for the company.

“We are pleased to announce our largest and most significant acquisition in Latin America to date which includes 166 pawn locations in Mexico, 32 pawn locations in Guatemala and 13 pawn locations in El Salvador,” First Cash CEO Rick Wessel said. “We believe this is a profitable full-service pawn operation with a broad array of pawn merchandise, including electronics, appliances, tools, autos and jewelry.”

The new stores are being acquired for $45 million from a private Mexican-based company. First Cash will also pay off $7 million in debt left over from the private company.

“We believe this is a prime use of the excess cash we have generated from our operating profits in Mexico,” Wessel said. “Including this acquisition, over the last four years we have generated and deployed over $1.8 billion pesos, which translates to over $120 million U.S. dollars, into new stores and strategic acquisitions in Latin America.”

First Cash is excited about its expansion into El Salvador and Guatemala.

“Adding stores in Guatemala and El Salvador strategically expands our store base into the first Latin American countries outside of Mexico, and will establish a solid foothold for further growth in Central and South America,” Wessel said. “The acquired operations in these Central American countries have successfully developed a full-service pawn model with potential for further growth in those markets.”

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