ANZ Bank is one step closer to being the "super regional bank" it aims to be after it agreed to purchase selected Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) businesses in Asia for A$687 million.
The move comes after a lengthy pursuit of the RBS' Asian assets, while RBS has been looking to sell them as part of its plan to focus on its core UK businesses. RBS was one of the hardest hit global baks in the financial crisis, and is now 70 per cent owned by the UK Government.
For ANZ, the acquisition includes RBS' retail, wealth and commercial businesses in Taiwan, Singapore, Indonesia and Hong Kong. This is on top of its institutional businesses in Taiwan, the Phillipines and Vietnam.
Blake Dawson confirmed on Friday it advised ANZ on the deal, with partners Tiffany Barton, David Williamson, John Sartori and Peter Stirling leading the legal team.
"It's been our privilege to represent ANZ in this strategically important acquisition," said Barton.
"A mix of the deal structure, and the regulatory issues involved across six jurisdictions, meant there were a range of complex and interesting issues to work through in order for the parties to reach agreement," she said.
The agreement reached between RBS and ANZ is the culmination of more than six months of work over a number of different transaction phases, the firm said.
ANZ chief executive Mike Smith said ANZ got the assets it wanted from the global bank, and that the various businesses are "an attractive portfolio of well provisioned banking assets at a reasonable price".
"The acquisition of these RBS businesses is a further stepping stone in out super regional strategy and creates a new platform for our retail and wealth businesses in Asia," he said.
ANZ is paying for the deal using part of the $2.5 billion it raised in a share placement in late May this year. But the purchase price of under $700 million leaves the banks enough capital to pursue other acquisitions.
The acquisition is not subject to regulatory approvals, including local prudential regulatory approval, with completion anticipated progressively from late 2009. The various acquisitions, however, are not dependent on each other, ANZ said.