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Leaked letter reveals Wonga thought it was worth £15bn

Embattled payday lender Wonga predicted the firm would have been valued at £15bn by 2015 once it had floated on the stock exchange, a leaked letter reveals.

In a bid to stop staff quitting in April 2012, Wonga sent a letter to 10 employees in which it said the firm would be worth £15bn, based on its £375m 2015 earnings forecast, the Guardian reports.

The letter says: “Wonga is growing significantly, and if this growth continues we would hope our future share value (and therefore the future value of share options granted now) to also increase accordingly over the next few years.

“If we continue to achieve this growth, then at a £5.6bn valuation, which would be an x15 P/E multiple to our estimated net earnings.”

Wonga has not floated and remains a private company.

Earlier this month Wonga was forced to take a £35m hit after agreeing to write off loans worth £220m following intervention from the FCA. 

The Guardian also reports Wonga is clearing the balance of even more people in addition to the 375,000 contacted on 10 October.

In July the regulator found the firm had sent letters from non-existent law firms to pressurise borrowers into paying their debts. About 45,000 customers received a total of £2.6m in compensation.



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  1. Looks ludicrous even at the time it was written, never mind the problems they’ve had since. The £15bn valuation rests on a 40x PE multiple. For a loan shark? The letter (quoted in the Guardian but not above) says “As a high-growth, tech/online business, this is what we would be striving for”. Erm, you’re a loan shark. With a website. Having a website does not make you Amazon or Google. I don’t know at what multiples other loan sharks have sold for, but given the political risks and that the recent FCA intervention has halved their profits, I wouldn’t touch those shares with a bargepole.

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