WHAT IS IT ABOUT?
Partially owned by Gutierrez Group, SUTAX is the leading taxi brokerage and financing entity in Medellin and its metropolitan area. With 5 branches distributed throughout the city, the company operates a brokerage company, called SUTAX BROKER, through which taxis and its respective medallions (license to operate) are bought and resold; and a lending entity, called SUTAX CAPITAL, through which buyers of these taxis are offered financing alternatives.
Investors are welcome to join in the financing side of the operation, using their monies to place private loans while the operator fully takes care of the technical aspects of the operation which include: debtor’s credit study, paperwork, negotiation of loan conditions, and collection of monthly payments.
Using loan-to-value ratios of no more than 70%, taxi loans oscillate between U$20,000 and U$40,000; they are usually placed for a term of between 36 to 60 months; with fixed monthly payouts of both principal and interests, resembling a typical bank’s amortization plan. The interest rate offered to investors oscillates between 10% and 12% per year.
- The sector has grown 50%+ in the last 10 years. There is an increased demand of taxi acquisition due to the implementation of the new Integrated Transportation System (SITP) in 2015, which forced the public buyout of private bus routes in the whole city. Former owners of these buses tend to remain in the transportation sector and have been buying taxis ever since.
- Taxi medallions are no longer being issued by the authorities. The only way to obtain one is through the secondary market from entities like SUTAX. The value of the medallion has been constantly growing since 2004 and it now stands at around U$ 25,000.
- Even though these factors give rise to think that the taxi industry will prevail, the most relevant protection is the fact that loans are placed for an amount of no greater than 70% of the value of the operation. This 30% protection becomes bigger month after month as debtor gradually pays out the debt.
- Zero defaults in 200+ loans placed since the beginning of operations. Debtors of this source of credit lines have proven to be very good payers due to the fact that they base their family’s prosperity to the daily operation of the taxi, thus are highly motivated to pay on time.
- Uber, Lyft, and similar applications do not impact the industry as they do in their countries of origin. Although they (illegally) operate in the country, these apps face major barriers to deeply penetrate the market, such as low connectivity, smartphone use, and credit card usage in the low and middle class. Besides, typical taxi service is highly valued and less expensive.
Placing a loan consists of a very simple 6-step process:
- The buyer of the taxi and potential debtor approaches SUTAX to buy a taxi and its respective medallion
- Negotiation is made and debtor applies for financing through SUTAX CAPITAL
- An extensive due diligence towards approval of debtor is executed
- Debtor is accepted and the following legal paperwork is executed: pledge of the taxi and medallion on behalf of the manager; loan agreement; and promissory note
- Investor disburses funds upon signature of contract
- Payments from debtor are received every month and the investor is paid back in within the first 10 business days of the month, each month Note: May a default occur, the operator will be in charge of the legal process towards repossessing the asset
The minimum investment stands at U$35,000 and the interest rate offered to investors depends on the amount invested as shown in the table.
Who is Looking After the Investment?
The operation is supervised by Gutierrez Group, who also constantly co-invests into different taxi loans and who is part owner of SUTAX. Investors shall only deal with GG. SUTAX, on the other hand, is our highly experienced taxi broker and financing operator. They control the daily operation of the business, including dealing with debtors. Their well-known name and broad experience in this industry adds substantial value to the partnership as they have a great share of the market and are recognized as the most professional company in the city to either buy taxis from or sell taxis to.
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