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Equity Trustees to buy Australian Executor Trustees for A$135m

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Equity Trustees (EQT) has reached a strategic alliance deal with Insignia Financial to buy Australian Executor Trustees (AET) in a cash deal worth A$135m ($93m).

AET, a fully owned subsidiary of Insignia, offers professional private client trustee services in Australia.

In the financial year 2022, AET supervised over A$6.9bn in funds under management, administration, advice and supervision (FUMAS), while the company earned A$38.1m in revenue on a standalone basis during the same financial year.

With over 140 years of experience in delivering specialised estate and trustee solutions, AET currently operates through two units, namely Trustee Services and Platform Services, across Australia.

With the latest deal, EQT aims to focus on AET’s Trustee Services unit. The company plans to depart from AET’s Platform Services unit, which includes the firm’s Self-Managed Super Funds (SMSFs) and Portfolio Management Services (PMS), in 23-24 financial year.

EQT aims to fund the deal with a mix of debt and equity, comprising $125m fully underwritten equity raising.

The deal will also include around A$40.4m institutional placement to current and future investors, around A$84.6m one for six accelerated pro-rata non-renounceable entitlement offer (equity raising).

In addition, EQT has secured a binding commitment from Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) for a A$40m of additional debt facility to partially fund the deal.

EQT managing director Mick O’Brien said: “AET is a strong strategic fit with Equity Trustees. The business is highly complementary and provides geographic diversity, establishing a presence in Adelaide and significantly increasing our presence in Western Australia, as well as expanding our presence in Queensland and New South Wales.

“The acquisition delivers significant growth for Equity Trustees adding A$5.4bn in FUMAS and boosting our overall revenue and EBITDA by more than a third, and it is expected to be earnings accretive.

“It adds scale to our Trustee and Wealth Services (TWS) private client offering, particularly in our Indigenous and health and personal injury businesses, and supports our ongoing commitment to investment in products, services and technology.”

Subject to ministerial approval to but AET’s trustee licence, the new deal is scheduled to be completed by the end of November this year.

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