Count-Diverger acquisition expected in February 2024

Count Financial Hugh Humphrey Diverger Limited Nathan Jacobsen

3 November 2023
| By Laura Dew |
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Count’s acquisition of Diverger is expected to complete by the end of February 2024, CEO Hugh Humphrey has told Money Management, despite a last-minute rival bid. 

The acquisition was first announced in September with a stated completion of the first half of 2024.

Humphrey has since stated the firm is nearing completion of Diverger's expert report, there are two court hearings scheduled and it is expected to complete on 27 February.

This comes despite a rival bid for Diverger this week from COG Financial Services to acquire 100 per cent of the firm. It proposed to acquire all of the Diverger shares on issue for $1.4083 per share with $0.679 in cash per Diverger share (48 per cent) and $0.731 in COG shares (52 per cent).

Diverger stated it favoured the Count offer and Humphrey said Count has a matching right to match the offer of any superior bids. 

Humphrey said: “The agreed deal is unanimously supported by all of their directors including by HUB24 who is a major shareholder in favour of the transaction. In the event of a superior proposal, we do have matching rights over that.

“The team and [Diverger managing director] Nathan Jacobsen have been great to work with, it makes sense and everyone has been happy it is happening. 

“There have been a few false starts with acquisitions in this industry in the past so we wanted to ensure we had everything aligned and everyone was supportive before we went public. It’s unique to have all of those ticked off.”

Last June, Diverger was in talks about an acquisition with Centrepoint Alliance but it ended up falling through in August as Centrepoint Alliance felt the offer failed to reflect the firm’s strategic value.

Humphrey said he was keen to reiterate that Diverger advisers would be unlikely to see changes to their business as a result of the acquisition. 

“Advisers know Count and we have said we won’t disturb their business, there won’t be fee changes for them beyond what’s already been agreed with Diverger 

“So all through next year other, they should only see the scale benefits that the deal will bring with limited disruption or change.”

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