Carlyle Makes $2 Billion Renewed Run at Australian Firm Link
(Bloomberg) -- Link Administration Holdings Ltd. has received a A$2.8 billion ($2.07 billion) takeover approach from the Carlyle Group, a little more than a year on from an initial approach that prompted the Australian data services company to spin off its most profitable business.
Sydney-based Link said Friday it had received a new indicative takeover proposal from Carlyle valuing its shares at A$3 each and a distribution of Link’s shareholding in Pexa Group Ltd to shareholders valued at A$2.38. The offer has a valuation of about A$2.8 billion in total according to Bloomberg calculations.
Link rose as much as 12% to A$4.87 per share in Sydney on Friday, the most since December.
The deal essentially revives the October 2020 offer for the biggest back-office service provider to Australia’s booming pension industry. At that time, Carlyle made a joint bid with Australian private equity firm Pacific Equity Partners that was rebuffed.
Link’s board will consider the proposal, Friday’s announcement said.
Carlyle’s Latest Link Bid Comes With a 24% Premium: M&A Snapshot
Following last year’s approach Link embarked on a strategic review, resulting in the divestment of its online property exchange business Pexa, which was listed independently on the Australian Securities Exchange in July with Link continuing to own just under 43%.
Since then, Link’s own shares have lost about 14%, hitting a 52-week low last month that continued a decline after sales came in below expectations in August.
The offer for Link comes as the company’s client base, which includes many pension funds, continues to explode in size and sophistication. Australia’s prudential regulator expects the nation’s pension pot to almost double to A$5 trillion by 2034 as employers make a contribution equivalent to 9.5% of a worker’s wage into a retirement fund each month.
Link has appointed Macquarie Capital and UBS as its financial advisers and Herbert Smith Freehills as its legal adviser, the company said.
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