GBST yields to FNZ takeover bid

GBST yields to FNZ takeover bid

Shares in Brisbane-based fintech GBST (ASX: GBT) have risen 6.5 per cent this morning after the board unanimously recommended a takeover bid from the holding company of FNZ Custodians.

The $3.85 per share bid is actually less than an earlier acquisition offer from the New Zealand-based company, but is still 7 per cent more than an offer on the table from US company SS&C Technologies Inc.

The American company was undertaking due diligence for its potential takeover of GBST with frequent competitive threats from FNZ, a group that has boasted a fairly unorthodox takeover method marked by strict conditions, short timeframes for acceptance and rapidly fluctuating offer prices.

After weeks of dismissing FNZ's attempts including the determination last week that a bid was "effectively incapable of being accepted", the GBST board has finally been convinced.

"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," says GBST chairman Allan Brackin.

"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 managing director Adrian Durham says his company is pleased the agreement has been reached, emphasising it will deliver a "great outcome" for GBST shareholders.

"GBST has well established products, talented employees and deep relationships with major financial institutions in Australia and internationally," says Durham.

"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."

GBST notes it will be able to pay a fully franked special dividend of up to $0.35 per share for all shares held prior to the implementation of the scheme, but then the consideration would be reduced by the same cash amount.

A scheme booklet is expected to be sent to shareholders in early September with a vote set to take place in October. 

At the time of writing GBT shares were trading at $3.92, representing a significant change since April when they sat at $1.98 each. Bravura Solutions (ASX: BVS) then started its takeover bids at $2.50, progressively going up to $2.72 and then $3 before SS&C stepped in.

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