Equity Trustees (EQT) has agreed to acquire Bendigo and Adelaide Bank’s estates and trusts business, managed by the bank’s subsidiary of Sandhurst Trustees, for $5m.

The acquired estates and trusts business has nearly 141 perpetual and ongoing trusts with $140m in funds under management and a will bank of over 25,000 wills. It provides service for estate planning, administration of deceased estates, ongoing trusts and perpetual trusts.

Also, EQT has entered into a five-year referral arrangement with Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, where EQT will provide estate planning, management and administration support for the bank’s clients throughout Australia.

Subject to Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) approval, the transaction is expected to complete in the first quarter of calendar 2017.

EQT managing director Mick O’Brien said: “This acquisition is consistent with our strategy of growing in selected parts of the wealth value chain, and strengthens our position as a leading provider of trustee services.

“Our two organisations are an excellent fit. We both specialise in independent trustee services, we have similar cultures and we share histories in Victoria as trustee companies dating back to the late 1800’s.

“With demographic changes increasing the demand for wealth protection and wealth transition services, the outlook is very positive,” O’Brien added.

In July 2014, EQT fully acquired ANZ Trustees from the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) for $150m.