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CBA sells 55% stake to global investment firm

CBA has sold over half of their stake in Colonial First State to global investment firm KKR in a deal worth $1.47 billion in common equity capital.

user iconLauren Croft 17 January 2022 Big Law
CBA sells 55% stake to global investment firm
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Firm: Herbert Smith Freehills (Commonwealth Bank of Australia), Gilbert + Tobin (KKR)

Deal: HSF has advised CBA on the sale of its 55 per cent stake in CFS to KKR - who was advised by G+T on the deal. The transaction is expected to deliver an increase of approximately $1.47 billion of Common Equity Tier 1 capital for the bank.

Value: $1.47 billion.


Area: Finance, banking.

Key players: The Herbert Smith Freehills team was led by partners Tony Damian and Nicole Pedler, together with solicitor Jennifer Xue. The team was supported by lawyers across a range of specialist practice groups including: partners Clayton James, Kwok Tang, Robert Bileckij and Erin Wakelin, executive counsel Amelia Fleming, special counsel Amalia Stone, senior associates Li-Lian Yeo and Mark Khouri, and solicitor Taseen Rafi.

The team worked closely with the CBA legal team, led by Mark Alexander, executive general manager, acting EGM general counsel corporate and governance, and including Will House and Maggie Leung.

The G+T team was led by Alex Kauye and Peter Cook, and also included Ebony Keenan-Dunn and Travis Cordingley, Gina Cass-Gottlieb, Tanya Macdonald and Simon Barnett, John Schembri and Stu Cormack, Andrew Hii and Claire Arthur, Lisa Lennon and Anna Smyth, Dan Macpherson and Sadaat Cheema, James Pomeroy and Muhunthan Kanagaratnam.

Deal significance: CFS is a provider of superannuation, investment and retirement products and is the operator and administrator of investment platforms, with approximately $155 billion of funds under management. Together, CBA and KKR intend to support CFS in becoming one of the leading superannuation and investment businesses in Australia.

Commenting on the deal, Mr Damian said: “I am delighted that the team at Herbert Smith Freehills has supported our important client CBA in this key strategic milestone.”

Ms Pedler added: “This transaction has been years in the making and showcases the strength of the relationship between the CBA and Herbert Smith Freehills teams.”

Mr Kauye added that G+T was "delighted to have advised KKR on such a significant transaction."

"CFS is one of the largest superannuation and investments platforms in Australia, and this transaction happens at a time of great opportunity in the wealth management sector. With the support of KKR and CBA, we look forward to seeing CFS execute on its strategy of investment and growth for the benefit of the more than one million members of CFS," he said. 

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