In a move that will see the Commonwealth Bank of Australia take a 17.2 per cent stake in Mortgage Choice, the bank has announced it will pay $373 million for planning group Count Financial.
In a statement to the Australian Securities Exchange yesterday, CBA said it would enter into a Scheme Implementation Deed, under which the bank would acquire all the shares of Count via a Scheme of Arrangement.
Under the terms of the Deed, CBA has agreed to pay $1.40 per Count Share – or $373 million for all of the shares.
If the Deed is approved by Count Financial’s shareholders, CBA would in turn take ownership of Count Financial’s 17.2 per cent in the brokerage Mortgage Choice.
Mortgage Choice chief executive Michael Russell told The Adviser that it was “far too early” on the acquisition path to determine what CBA’s forward intentions would be with the brokerage.
“I received a courtesy call from a senior CBA executive yesterday, alerting me to the proposed acquisition. All I know at the moment is what the ASX was told. It is far too early to speculate about CBA’s intentions,” Mr Russell said.
“It takes months for these acquisitions to be formalised. Assuming the proposed acquisition is approved by the necessary shareholders, the whole deal will not be finalised until the end of this year. I’m sure that when that time rolls around, we will have far more discussions with the executive team at CBA.”
But Mortgage Choice is not the only brokerage CBA has a stake in. The major also has a 33 per cent stake in Aussie, giving the lender minority representation on Aussie’s board.