Goldman Sachs said on Wednesday that it would offload GreenSky, a major player in the “buy now, pay later” lending sector, less than two years after buying the company, in the latest hit to its consumer-finance ambitions.
Goldman will take an immediate loss from the transaction in its third-quarter earnings, which are due out next week. The bank is selling GreenSky to a group of money managers, including the private-equity firms Sixth Street and K.K.R. The selling price was not disclosed.
The outlook for both Goldman and the buy now, pay later industry was vastly different in 2021 when the bank paid $1.7 billion for GreenSky, which focuses on home improvement loans. The New York bank was reaping bumper profits and expanding its consumer business, in an effort to attract new customers who are less wealthy than Goldman’s typical clientele.
Rising interest rates, however, have crimped the buy now, pay later sector, as borrowers prove sensitive to taking on more expensive loans. Goldman, meanwhile, has all but thrown in the towel on its consumer banking business amid a collapse in the unit’s profits. Executives had previously said the bank would very likely get rid of GreenSky.
Goldman and its pressured chief executive, David M. Solomon, still face tough decisions ahead. The bank’s mainstay business of corporate advisory work is dragging — along with those of its peers — during a muted period for mergers and acquisitions. Goldman also still must decide what to do with other remnants of its consumer arm, including a credit-card business that the bank hasn’t determined whether it would hold onto.
Goldman’s stock was down roughly 1 percent on Wednesday and has fallen 10 percent this year.