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Equiniti to acquire WFSS
Posted on Thursday, 13 July 2017 11:56
UK firm Equiniti Group has agreed to buy US share registration group Wells Fargo Shareowner Services (WFSS) from Wells Fargo & Company for roughly USD 227.00 million in cash.

The acquiror will finance the purchase through a USD 160.00 million rights issue and around USD 155.00 million-worth of new debt facilities.

Equiniti’s cash call is expected to be launched in September 2017, subject to the approval of the acquisition by shareholders.

Commenting on the deal, chief executive of the buyer, Guy Wakeley, stated: "The combination with WFSS is a unique and exciting opportunity to create a technology-enabled, multi-national share registration capability, powered by Equiniti's proprietary Sirius platform, with significant scale and global reach.”

The acquisition is likely to have a positive effect on the company’s earnings in the first full year of ownership.

Greenhill & Company, Citigroup, Barclays and Temple Bar Advisory have all been hired to advise Equiniti on the transaction.

Completion is expected in either the fourth quarter of 2017 or the first quarter of 2018, subject to the usual raft of conditions, including the go ahead from certain regulatory bodies.

Incorporated in 1929, WFSS provides share registration, corporate actions, and investment plan services to over 1,200 companies across the US.

The business posted revenue and adjusted net profit of USD 104.00 million and USD 18.00 million, respectively, in 2016.

Equiniti claims to be a frontrunning specialist in technology, finance and administrative services in complex or regulated markets.

The firm generated revenue of GBP 382.60 million in the financial year ended 31st December 2016, a 3.7 per cent increase on GBP 369.00 million in the previous 12 months.

Earnings before interest and tax totalled GBP 40.70 million for the period (FY 2015: GBP 10.20 million).

Last week, Equiniti bought UK financial lending software developer Nostrum Group for an undisclosed amount to increase its product range.

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