Packer picks Interstar ‘jewel’

Kerry-Packer-backed Challenger Financial Service Group has acquired non-bank wholesale mortgage financier Interstar Securities for $85 million. The deal is part of a broader $133 million acquisition, that of Zurich Capital Markets' Australian Principal Finance arm. Challenger CEO Chris Cuffe described the Interstar purchase as “the jewel” in the deal. Interstar also has a distribution network of 450 “preferred lenders”, through which other Challenger products can be marketed.