Pacific Equity Said to Start $1.5 Billion AST Auction Next Month
(Bloomberg) -- American Stock Transfer & Trust Co., the share registry being sold by Australia’s largest buyout firm, may solicit interest from potential suitors including Broadridge Financial Solutions Inc. and Fidelity National Information Services Inc. as soon as September, people familiar with the matter said.
AST may also reach out to stock exchange Nasdaq Inc. as well as trust banks State Street Corp., SunTrust Banks Inc. and Bank of New York Mellon Corp., said the people, who asked not to be identified because the matter isn’t public.
Pacific Equity Partners, AST’s owner since 2008, is seeking as much as $1.5 billion for the Brooklyn, New York-based company, the people said. It’s working with Barclays Plc on the sale, and plans to begin soliciting bids as soon as the end of September, they said. Some prospective bidders have already expressed interest in the company, one of the people said.
Spokesmen for Pacific Equity Partners, Barclays and State Street declined to comment. Representatives for BNY Mellon, Broadridge, Fidelity and SunTrust didn’t respond to requests for comment.
AST offers stock transfer, transfer agent, trust and shareholder services to public companies in the U.S. and abroad. Pacific Equity Partners bought the company from founders Michael and George Karfunkel for about $1 billion in 2008, according to reports at the time.
The Australian buyout firm sold part of its stake in another share and pension fund management company, Link Administration Holdings Ltd., in an initial public offering in October last year. It also bought a stake in New Zealand’s Academic Colleges Group Ltd. in September, paying about NZ$500 million ($364 million), people familiar with the matter said at the time.
Pacific Equity Partners agreed in June to buy frozen food manufacturer Patties Foods Ltd. for about A$230 million. The private equity firm, led by managing director Tim Sims, has A$3.5 billion of equity under management and last year raised A$2.1 billion for a fifth buyout fund, according to its website. A further A$1 billion was raised for co-investments, a person with knowledge of the matter said in May last year.