Trust ends due diligence with Equity Trustees

The Trust Company board has reiterated its support for the Perpetual take-over offer, stating that it is superior to that presented by IOOF and Equity Trustees, and has also ended the ongoing due diligence process with the latter. 

In comments released to the Australian Stock Exchange, Trust encouraged shareholders to reject the Equity Trustees offer and stated it was “obliged to cease all discussions with third parties in relation to a potential change of control transaction with respect to the Trust Company” including Equity Trustees and IOOF as a result of a Scheme Implementation Agreement (SIA) with Perpetual. 

The Trust Board stated that based on closing prices as at 12 September, the revised Perpetual proposal represents a 14.1 per cent and 6.2 per cent premium to the revised Equity Trustee and IOOF offers respectively. 

It also stated the Perpetual offer was superior in that it offered higher value per share for both the scrip and cash offerings to Trust shareholders, greater flexibility to mix between cash and shares and less reliance on synergies to realise benefits from the merger. 

Trust has been at the centre of five proposals from the three corporate suitors since 21 February this year, with Equity Trustees making an initial offer which was rejected by the Trust board as undervaluing the company. 

Perpetual’s initial offer was accepted and the SIA entered into on 7 May. Equity Trustees made a revised offer on 21 June which was the subject of mutual due diligence arrangements. 

These arrangements were still ongoing when IOOF announced its offer on 2 September, which was followed three days later by an updated offer from Perpetual. A revised SIA was released on 9 September, ending the due diligence process with Equity Trustees. 

The Perpetual takeover is still subject to a Australian Competition and Consumer Commission review and if passed will not be completed till November.

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