Equity Trustees (EQT) has been asked to make a submission to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) about the state of the trustee market in the event that Perpetual acquires The Trust Company (Trust).
While EQT has not commented on the contents of its submission, it has stated on a number of occasions that if Perpetual was to acquire Trust the latter’s brand and history would be subsumed into Perpetual.
In a letter to shareholders released to the Australian Stock Exchange, EQT has indicated it will continue in its efforts to merge with Trust and was “actively considering ways and means of incorporating a cash component” in its revised offer for Trust. The cash component would be in addition to a revised offer of 37 EQT shares announced after Perpetual indicated its interest in Trust.
EQT used the letter to remind its shareholders of the progression of events from March of this year, when it first offered 33 EQT shares for every 100 Trust shares, through to it recently receiving regulatory approval for the take-over and extending the closing date until July 31.
At the same time it also reminded shareholders of Trust’s initial rejection of its offer and the subsequent scheme of arrangement struck between Trust and Perpetual. Trust has continued to recommend the Perpetual scheme to its shareholders despite the revised EQT offer, and has denied a request for due diligence access by EQT.
In return EQT has strongly urged Trust shareholders not to take up Perpetual’s offer, claiming the scheme of arrangement was not settled and was subject to the ACCC and a yet-to-be-announced shareholder meeting.