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Perpetual responds to speculation regarding talks with KKR

By Maja Garaca Djurdjevic
3 minute read

After announcing a pause in trading, Perpetual has responded to media speculation.

Perpetual said in an ASX listing on Monday it has entered into “exclusive talks” with Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co (KKR) in relation to the potential acquisition of its corporate trust and wealth management businesses.

“There is no certainty of reaching a binding agreement, or that any transaction would proceed,” the firm said.

“Any transaction would be subject to conditions including regulatory approvals.”


Perpetual added that exclusivity will expire on Tuesday, 7 May, with the firm expected to provide a detailed update by Wednesday, 8 May 2024.

“Perpetual will continue to keep the market informed in line with its continuous disclosure obligations.”

Just last week, Perpetual said its corporate trust and wealth management businesses saw robust results in the third quarter.

“In corporate trust, our digital service offerings continue to grow and both our debt markets services and managed funds services businesses remain resilient in a higher interest rate environment, ”said chief executive officer and managing director, Rob Adams.

“In wealth management, our funds under advice (FUA) grew further, supported by stronger equity markets through the quarter.”

At the time, Adams also confirmed the strategic review that was announced in December, has “progressed and is now in its final stages”.

“We expect to provide a detailed update by 8 May 2024.”

Back in December, the firm said that it will be “exploring the benefits of unlocking additional value for Perpetual shareholders through separation of its corporate trust and wealth management businesses and creating a more focused asset management business”.

“The review is being progressed by Perpetual’s board of directors and is in line with the company’s regular evaluation of opportunities to create value for shareholders.”

Also in December, Perpetual declined a $3 billion takeover bid from Washington H. Soul Pattinson and Company (WHSP), citing that the offer “materially undervalues” both Perpetual and its corporate trust and wealth management divisions.

WHSP’s proposal included acquiring all Perpetual shares via a scheme of arrangement and simultaneously demerging Perpetual Asset Management to be distributed to existing shareholders.

WHSP would have retained Perpetual Wealth Management and Perpetual Corporate Trust businesses in exchange for WHSP shares, along with assuming group net debt and stranded group costs.