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ANZ cancels planned sale of UDC to HNA
Posted on Friday, 12 January 2018 12:38
Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) has decided to abandon plans to divest its vehicle financing unit, UDC Finance, to Chinese conglomerate HNA Group.

The move comes after New Zealand’s Overseas Investment Office declined the buyer’s application for the purchase; Reuters noted that concerns relating to the prospective acquiror’s ownership structure were to blame for the deal being blocked.

At the time, ANZ noted that although an agreement was still in place, the deal would not go ahead unless HNA could successfully overturn the decision.

The firm added that if a sale did not take place, it would consider strategic options for the future of UDC.

ANZ chief executive David Hisco confirmed this would be the case as part of the announcement stating that the deal will now not take place.

HNA agreed to acquire UDC for NZD 660.00 million (USD 479.05 million) almost a year to the day before the cancellation. Completion was originally expected to occur during the second half of 2017.

At the time Hisco said the divestment was in line with ANZ’s plans to simplify its operations.

UDC has a history dating back to 1937.

The firm has been wholly-owned by UDC since 1980 and provides asset-based finance to New Zealand-based companies for the purchase of plant, vehicles and equipment.

ANZ has announced a number of other asset sales in recent months; back in December it agreed to divest life insurance player One Path Life Australia Holdings to Zurich Financial Services Australia for AUD 1.85 billion (USD 1.46 billion).

This followed October’s decision to offload its wealth management business, among other subsidiaries, to IOOF Holdings for AUD 975.00 million.

According to Zephyr, the M&A database published by Bureau van Dijk, there were 188 deals targeting sales financing companies announced during 2017, of which the HNA purchase of UDC was the fifth-most valuable.

© Zephus Ltd