5th time lucky: MUFG's bid to acquire troubled link administration holdings
Japanese financial services company Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG) is making its fifth attempt to take over the troubled Link Administration Holdings, this time through its subsidiary, The Trust Bank. Link's board is unanimously supporting MUFG's $1.2 billion buyout offer, valuing the shares at $2.10 each, with an additional 16 cent dividend. This totals $2.26 per share, compared to the last sale price of $1.70 on Friday. Including the dividend, it's close to the $2.29 high in February.
If successful, this bid will bring an end to three years of turmoil for Link, marked by four previous failed takeover attempts and a significant financial payout in the UK for a problematic contract. Link also had to sell off its 38.5% stake in the online property title processor Pexa in mid-2023.
Link announced the deal in a statement to the ASX on Monday morning, revealing that a scheme of arrangement implementation deed had been signed with The Trust Bank. The company's board unanimously recommends that Link Group shareholders vote in favor of the scheme, provided there is no superior proposal, and the independent expert continues to find it in the best interests of Link Group shareholders.
The scheme is subject to various conditions, including regulatory approvals, shareholder approval at the scheme meeting, the provision of a scheme booklet and an independent expert's report to Link Group shareholders, as well as court approval.
Michael Carapiet, Link Group's Chair, stated in Monday's announcement, "We are pleased that The Trust Bank has recognized the value in Link Group's market-leading and global businesses of Retirement & Superannuation Solutions (RSS) and Corporate Markets (CM). While the Link Group Board remains confident about the company's future, we acknowledge that the scheme provides shareholders with the opportunity to receive cash value at a significant premium. The Board believes that the proposed transaction will benefit both shareholders and stakeholders and is in line with the Board’s priority to deliver shareholder value."
Glenn Dyer has been a finance journalist and TV producer for more than 40 years. He has worked at Maxwell Newton Publications, Queensland Newspapers, AAP, The Australian Financial Review, The Nine Network and Crikey.