EQT FM not to proceed with planned Iress takeover

A potential takeover of Iress by Luxembourg-based EQT Fund Management has fizzled out and the process deed and exclusivity terms has been terminated.

Iress agreed to a 10-day extension of the exclusivity period with EQT to acquire all of Iress’ shares via a scheme of arrangement.

In announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX), Roger Sharp, Iress chair, said: “In our 11 August announcement, Iress advised shareholders that there was no certainty the indicative proposal would result in a binding or formal offer from EQT.

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“Nevertheless, the board took the view that it was in the best interests of shareholders to engage further with EQT in relation to the indicative proposal. 

“The announcement today in no way impacts our strategy to accelerate growth and returns to shareholders, as detailed in our announcement of 29 July, 2021, and presented at our investor strategy day.

“Our aim has been and remains, to double net profit after tax by 2025, with potential for further upside.

“We have built solid foundations to capture more market share in large addressable markets and are focused on executing the plan.

“With our strong operating businesses, favourable industry trends and growth investments, we have a positive outlook.”

Thomas Von Koch, EQT’s chair of Asia-Pacific, said: “During our work we have been able to confirm that Iress is an impressive, technology-focused business with strong market share and a very loyal customer base driven by its market-leading software solutions.

“We have not come across any red flags during our due diligence but were not able to sufficiently confirm our investment hypothesis.

“We wish management and the company well and have every confidence Iress will continue to be a leader in its field.”  

Iress affirmed its guidance for segment profit to be between $164 million and $168 million for FY21, but there would a be one-off non-operating costs related to the transaction, which was expected to be in the order of $4 million to $5 million pre-tax.

Iress intends to commence its on-market share buy-back as previously announced to the ASX on 29 July, 2021.

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