SFG shareholders give IOOF deal green light

SFG Australia shareholders have voted in favour of IOOF’s acquisition bid, which will create the third largest advice business in Australia.

The scheme of arrangement was passed with 100 per cent of shareholder votes cast in favour and with 99.43 percent of SFG shareholders present and voting.

In his address to shareholders, chairman of SFG Peter Promnitz said the directors considered IOOF’s proposal to be in the best interests of shareholders and acknowledged the “merits of consolidation in the financial services industry”.

“In a consolidating sector, your directors believe that proactively becoming part of a larger ASX-listed company with a highly complementary service offering is consistent with our strategic object of providing ‘best of breed’ advice and service to our clients,” Mr Promnitz said.

“A larger combined group will have the scale and competitive advantage to offer a wider range of products and services for our clients in future years.

“In an environment of increasing regulation and cost pressures, your directors also recognise the benefits of improved diversification of revenue and profit.”

For the acquisition to go ahead, the Federal Court will need to approve the scheme at the second court hearing, scheduled for this Wednesday.

In a statement on the ASX website, SFG said that if the court approves the scheme, SFG proposes to lodge the orders with ASIC immediately, making the acquisition effective as of Wednesday.

IOOF managing director Christopher Kelaher called the shareholder vote a “significant milestone”.

“This highly complementary transaction will create the third largest advice business in Australia by funds under advice and one of the largest listed wealth management providers,” he said.

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