Equity Trustees and Trust Company agree to mutual due diligence process

Equity Trustees (EQT) and Trust Company (Trust) have agreed to the terms surrounding the mutual due diligence process to be undertaken by the two groups as part of EQT's take-over offer for Trust.

The agreement follows a bout of sparring between the two groups, via statements released on the Australian Stock Exchange, where Trust claimed via its independent expert report that EQT's synergy and implementation cost estimates were lower than estimated by EQT and that it would require more information on its bid.

EQT responded by stating this request had no purpose, while Trust continued to recommend Perpetual's take-over offer and called for assurances that there was a reasonable prospect of EQT acquiring Trust.

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EQT also requested full access to the independent expert's report and reciprocal due diligence access to EQT at the same level offered to Perpetual.

In a statement released yesterday, Trust indicated it would allow a revised due diligence processes to take place with EQT, limited by the Scheme Implementation Agreement Trust has with Perpetual.

Trust stated that the process would be carried out on an expedited basis, but has not provided a completion date apart from expecting "to complete this exercise within the coming weeks".

Despite the due diligence process Trust also stated it "continues to believe the Perpetual scheme to be superior, and, accordingly, continues to recommend the Perpetual scheme" to shareholders. It has advised them to take no action in response to EQT's take-over offer until it has completed its review.

EQT welcomed the agreement, stating only that it "looks forward to working with The Trust Company to progress these discussions with the objective of a mutually agreeable outcome in the coming weeks for the benefit of all shareholders".

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