Australian fintech Link Group gets $2.1bn takeover bid from Carlyle Group

Link Administration Holdings Limited (Link Group), an Australian fintech company, said that has received a sweetened takeover offer of AUD 5.38 ($3.98) per share or AUD 2.88 billion ($2.13 billion) from the Carlyle Group.

The conditional, non-binding indicative proposal has been issued by Carlyle Asia Partners V, L.P., an investment fund managed and advised by affiliated entities of Carlyle Group. Carlyle Group plans to acquire 100% of Link Group’s shares by way of a scheme of arrangement.

According to Link Group, the consideration is made up of AUD3.00 per the company’s share in cash along with a pro rata distribution of its shareholding in online property transaction company PEXA Group Limited to its shareholders, valued on a look through basis at AUD 2.38 per Link Group share as at 4 November 2021.

Carlyle Group’s proposal is subject to conditions such as due diligence, negotiation and execution of transaction documentation, and obtaining debt financing.

Link Group said that its board will study the proposal, which involves getting advice from its financial, legal and tax advisers.

The Australian fintech company has roped in Macquarie Capital and UBS as its financial advisers, while Herbert Smith Freehills is its legal adviser.

In late 2020, Carlyle Group alongside Pacific Partners proposed to take over Link Group in a deal worth AUD 2.76 billion ($2.04 billion). That offer was turned down by the Australian fintech company on the basis that it undervalued its businesses materially and was not in the best interests of its stockholders.

In December 2020, SS&C Technology, a US-based software company, offered to acquire 100% of Link Group for AUD 3.02 billion ($2.23 billion). This offer was turned down by the fintech company saying that it was not compelling enough.

Link Group is a provider of technology-enabled administration solutions to some of the largest corporations in the world, financial institutions, and pension funds.

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