COG makes $13m stake in advice licensee as ClearView exits
Following its withdrawal from the Diverger deal just days ago, COG Financial Services has announced a $13 million stake in Centrepoint Alliance (CAF).
In an ASX statement, the firm is to acquire 19.99 per cent of Centrepoint, funded by cash and debt.
COG clarified its two-fold core strategy: to own interests in businesses which are involved in the distribution of financial services and expand a scale business in retail funds management.
“The strategic rationale for the acquisition of the CAF interest is that it builds on the first limb of COG’s strategy,” the announcement said.
“By acquiring the CAF stake, COG is further applying its expertise in the identification, due diligence, integration and management of interests in financial services distribution businesses, in this case wealth management services.”
In a separate statement, ClearView Wealth announced it sold approximately 39.56 million shares in Centrepoint to COG, representing the $13 million at 33c per share.
“Given ClearView’s sole focus on life insurance, ClearView has determined to sell its strategic investment in Centrepoint,” the firm said.
The life insurance business first acquired 24.5 per cent of Centrepoint in November 2021 as consideration for the sale of ClearView’s financial advice business to Centrepoint.
Earlier this week on 15 November, COG withdrew its “superior proposal” made last month to merge with Diverger.
“It has formed the view that DVR’s major shareholders who could control the vote on the offer, in the absence of any public statements to the contrary, are unlikely to vote in favour of COG’s offer,” the statement explained.
The offer proposed to acquire all of the Diverger shares on issue for $1.41 per share with $0.68 in cash per Diverger share (48 per cent) and $0.73 in COG shares (52 per cent).
In June 2022, Diverger also attempted to acquire Centerpoint. The firm said the offer was for a combination of cash and Diverger shares valued at $0.325 per Centrepoint Alliance share by way of a scheme of arrangement.
However, the deal fell through two months later when Centrepoint released a statement that said “conversations had not progressed” between the two firms.
“Discussions with Diverger have not progressed to a point where Centrepoint Alliance has any further update to shareholders. Centrepoint Alliance reiterates its view that the Diverger non-binding indicative offer does not adequately reflect the firm’s value.”