ANZ’s $4.9b bid for Suncorp Bank, Woolworths buys Shopper Media, and Worley wins services contracts with Saudi giant Aramco

ANZ Suncorp Bank SUN Worley WOR Aramco Woolworths WOW Shopper Media Group Pendal PDL Perpetual PPT Mirvac MGR AMP ASX
To help fund its acquisition of Suncorp Bank, ANZ is raising $3.5 billion.

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ASX: ANZ) has announced a $4.9 billion bid to acquire Suncorp Group’s (ASX: SUN) Suncorp Bank division, with the acquisition expected to accelerate growth of ANZ’s retail and commercial businesses, while expanding its presence across the east coast.

The major bank entered a trading halt to raise $3.5 billion to assist with funding the acquisition, which is expected to be completed in12 months once regulatory requirements have been met.

ANZ chief executive officer Shayne Elliott said the acquisition will results in a “stronger, more balanced bank”.

“ANZ has licenced the Suncorp Bank brand for five-to-seven years and we are committed to maintaining its current branch footprint in Queensland for at least three years post completion,” he said.

“This is a growth strategy for ANZ, and we will continue to invest in Suncorp Bank and in Queensland for the benefit of all stakeholders.”

Suncorp Bank’s chief executive officer Clive van Horen will continue to lead Suncorp Bank, with no changes expected to employment conditions for its existing team members.

Woolworths

Australian retail group Woolworths Group’s (ASX: WOW) subsidiary Cartology has agreed to acquire retail digital media company Shopper Media Group in an all-cash deal worth $150 million.

Woolworths describes Shopper as a leading Australian out of home media company, and the acquisition will provide targeted shopped advertising with more than 2,000 screens to be added in over 400 shopping centres.

Woolworths chief executive officer Brad Banducci said the acquisition is a significant step in the group’s evolution.

“We’re excited about the opportunity to bring together the complementary capabilities of our retail media business, Cartology, with Shopper’s expertise in out of home media,” he said.

Cartology managing director Mike Tyquin said the deal helps fulfil the division’s “goal to become the trusted media partner of choice for brands and retailers.”

“Shopper’s screen network offers advertisers outstanding retail context and proximity,” he said.

“Shopper has invested heavily in technology, helping the business pave the way for innovation in retail out of home media.”

The acquisition is awaiting approval by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, which is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

Pendal Group

Pendal Group (ASX: PDL) is in talks with Australian investment fund Perpetual (ASX: PPT) over a “potential transaction”.

This comes nearly three months after Pendal rejected Perpetual’s $2.4 billion takeover offer.
The global investment fund confirmed the talks were happening on Tuesday with the release of a statement to market.

“Discussions are highly conditional and incomplete and there is no certainty that they will result in a transaction,” it said.

“The Pendal board will keep shareholders and the market informed in accordance with its continuous disclosure obligations.”

Pendal assured shareholders no equity raising would be required should the transaction go ahead.

In April, Pendal rejected Perpetual’s offer to acquire 100% of its shares for an indicative $6.23 per share.

The Pendal board said the takeover undervalued the current and future value of the company.

Worley

Worley (ASX: WOR) has won more project management services contracts with Saudi Arabian giant Aramco, which cover unconventional gas projects both in and out-of-kingdom.

The three-year contracts will emphasise front-end engineering and design, detailed design support, project management services and construction management services.

While the contracts are under three-year terms, options remain to extend them for a further two years.

Worley chief executive Chris Ashton said securing the contracts demonstrated the company’s healthy global relationship with Aramco.

“We are pleased Aramco has selected Worley for this program that is key to meeting the kingdom’s growing energy needs,” he said.

“We look forward to continuing our longstanding global relationship with Aramco and supporting its assets’ long-term sustainability goals, while remaining committed to delivering a more sustainable world.”

Mirvac

Australian property group Mirvac (ASX: MGR) announced on Monday its won control of AMP’s (ASX: AMP) $7.7 billion wholesale office fund after obtaining 60% of the vote.

Mirvac chief executive officer Susan Lloyd-Hurwitz said through acquiring the AMP Capital Wholesale Office Fund (AWOF) it speeds up the groups’ strategy to grow its third-party funds under management with aligned capital partners.

“We are pleased to offer AWOF unit holders reduced fees, a standalone trustee with a majority independent board and access to Mirvac’s market-leading, integrated asset creation and curation capabilities and platform, including our $9.2 billion office and mixed-use development pipeline,” she said.

She added the deal enhances the groups’ stance as a top-tier manager of prime office assets in Australia.

Despite this, AMP chief executive officer Alexis George expressed her “extreme disappointment” over Mirvac’s attempt to secure control of the country’s largest office fund.

“It’s extremely disappointing. The wholesale office fund is one of the best performing funds over the last three years in that sector,” she said.

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