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Countplus offloads Perth advice firm

Countplus Limited has entered into an agreement to sell its Perth-based member firm Lawrence Business Management (LBM) to the firm’s new management team.

In a statement to the ASX, the listed financial services company – in which CBA-owned Count Financial holds a stake – announced LBM will be sold for a cash consideration of approximately $7.3 million, with the deal to be settled in early January 2014.

The Countplus board decided the transaction would be in the best interests of the company as it was doubtful of the ability of the LBM Group to meet its long-term growth plans, the statement said.

Countplus expects the sale to have only a minor negative impact of around 3 per cent on the company’s earnings per share in 2014, including an immaterial impairment loss.

It is not expected to materially impact the Group’s previously announced earnings guidance.

The sale will enable Countplus to redeploy capital to acquisition opportunities as they arise, in line with its strategic objectives and future growth plans, the statement said.

“In the meantime, the proceeds will be applied to reduce company debt,” it said.