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FNZ agrees to acquire platform tech competitor GBST

Platform technology firm FNZ has entered into a binding agreement to take over rival tech provider GBST in a deal worth A$269m (£150m).

GBST made the announcement to the Australian stock exchange this morning. The move will see FNZ acquire 100 per cent of the shares in GBST by way of a “scheme of arrangement”.

The deal values GBST shares at A$3.85 (£2.15). It represents a 94.9 per cent premium to the closing price of the company’s shares on 11 April, when fellow Australian platform technology provider Bravura mounted a $172m (£94m) bid for GBST.

GBST directors have unanimously recommended that shareholders vote in favour of the FNZ deal in October. The acquisition is expected to complete in November.

FNZ acquires wealth management software firm JHC

FNZ group chief executive Adrian Durham says: “We are pleased to have reached an agreement with the GBST board that will deliver a great outcome for their shareholders. GBST has well established products, talented employees and deep relationships with major financial institutions in Australia and internationally.

“We look forward to working with the company to expand its product and service offering in both wealth management and capital markets, aligned with our global mission of improving investment and retirement outcomes for all people.”

The deal will bolster FNZ’s position in the UK and comes on the back of its purchase of software provider JHC Systems earlier this month.

It also follows FNZ completing the acquisition of German investment platform ebase.

GBST chairman Allan Brackin says: “We are pleased to have now entered into a binding agreement for FNZ to acquire GBST at A$3.85 per share on terms acceptable to the board. FNZ’s offer represents a significant premium and provides a high degree of certainty of value for our shareholders through the cash offer and limited conditionality.”

FNZ provides the platform software used by several platforms including Zurich’s, which is thought to be up for sale.

Zurich remains ‘committed’ to IFAs amid platform sale reports

The technology provider also partners with Aviva and Standard Life, while GBST provides technology for platforms including those of Aegon and Novia.

The announcement of the prospective deal has been welcomed by Aegon.

A spokesperson for the company says: “Given the recent uncertainty over GBST’s ownership we are pleased this is now reaching a conclusion. We have been talking to all prospective buyers of the business around their plans to invest and look forward to working with whomever is successful.”

Data from The Lang Cat shows how the move will impact the advised platform market in terms of who provides the underlying technology for platforms.

If the deal goes ahead, advised assets under administration with technology provided by FNZ will increase from the current 23.64 per cent share of the market to 60.83 per cent.

The future figure includes Old Mutual Wealth, which is replatforming from proprietary tech to FNZ.

Source: The Lang Cat

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