A group of investors including Pacific Equity Partners and Carlyle Group has withdrawn its almost $3 billion takeover offer for Link Group.
Link confirmed on Wednesday morning that the consortium including Pacific Equity partners, Carlyle Group and their affiliates had withdrawn its proposal, initially made in October.
The consortium made multiple offers for the fund administrator through 2020, but Link’s board had insisted that the offered prices were undervaluing the company. The last revised offer, made in October, was $5.40 per share ($2.9 billion in total).
It also offered the option of $3.80 per share for Link sans property settlement platform PEXA.
In January, US technology provider SS&C Technology Holdings also reversed out of its takeover bid for the Australian super administration group, after the offered price was similarly contested.
Link’s board had concluded the bid price of $5.65 per share did not present “compelling value for shareholders”.
The company is preparing to sell its 44 per cent stake in PEXA, having signalled last year that it was considering splitting it off into a separate ASX-listed entity.
“The trade sale process has attracted good interest and Link Group has received non-binding indications of interest better reflecting the underlying value of PEXA and significantly greater than the consortium proposal’s implied enterprise value of approximately $1.95 billion for PEXA (or $1.60 per Link Group share) contained in the consortium’s all-cash alternative,” Link reported on Wednesday.
“Binding offers are expected during June 2021.”
Link has advised its performance for the 2021 financial year and the progress of its global transformation program remain in line with expectations.
Sarah Simpkins is a journalist at Momentum Media, reporting primarily on banking, financial services and wealth.
Prior to joining the team in 2018, Sarah worked in trade media and produced stories for a current affairs program on community radio.
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