Bank of Queensland's (ASX: BOQ) plans to double its retail offering through the $1.325 billion acquisition of ME Bank are now just weeks from fruition after the deal was approved by Treasurer Josh Frydenberg.
The parties required the Treasurer's approval under the Financial Sector (Shareholdings) Act 1998 as the acquisition of any holding of 15 per cent or more in a financial sector company can be treated as a matter of national interest.
Following successful capital raisings in February and March to fund the acquisition of 100 per cent of ME Bank's issued share capital, BOQ aims to complete the purchase on 1 July.
Prior to that date, BOQ and ME Bank will continue to operate as separate businesses with no immediate changes expected for customers of either business.
"The acquisition of ME Bank is a key step in our strategy to be a compelling alternative to the big banks. It is a defining moment in the transformation of BOQ Group, which will benefit our shareholders, customers and people," BOQ Group chairman Patrick Allaway said.
"The addition of ME Bank to the BOQ Group will further strengthen our multi-brand strategy, deliver material scale, broadly double the size of our retail bank, and provide us with geographic diversification," BOQ Group managing director and CEO George Frazis added.
"We look forward to the ME Bank team formally joining the BOQ Group very soon," Frazis said.
Once the merger is complete the group will have total assets worth more than $88 billion, with total deposits of more than $56 billion.
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