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Super industry acquisition underway

Super industry acquisition underway

Deanna Constable, Lander & Rogers

First State Super is acquiring StatePlus, creating the largest member-owned financial planning network in Australia, with advice from multiple firms.

Firms: Lander & Rogers and Seyfarth Shaw (First State Super); Herbert Smith Freehills (SAS Trustee Corporation)

Deal: First State Super made a successful bid to acquire StatePlus from SAS Trustee Corporation

Value: Undisclosed

Area: M&A

Key players: The Lander & Rogers team was led by partner Deanna Constable (pictured), with assistance from partners Terry Brigden and Robert Neely, senior associates Jared Smith and Dalvin Chien, and lawyer Melisa Chan.

HSF’s advising teams were led by partners Philippa Stone, Philip Hart and Peter Dunne. Assisting were partners Michael Vrisakis and Stephen Dobbs, special counsel Alison Wheatley, senior associates Jennifer Cho and Sami Wilson and solicitors Ben Waterfall, Victoria Mataczynski, Thomas Mawson, Ben Robinson and Hayden Guthrie.

Deal significance:

First State Super made a successful bid to acquire StatePlus, a financial planning and pension fund business owned by SAS Trustee Corporation (STC).

STC conducted a competitive dual-track sale process for its financial planning business StatePlus which commenced late last year. The process culminated in receipt of a number of trade sale proposals and an underwritten IPO bid last month.

StatePlus provides specialist retirement advice, mostly for NSW state government employees. StatePlus has about 60,000 clients, 160 planners and $16 billion under management according to reports by Australian Financial Review.

STC entered into an agreement that First State Super would acquire 100 per cent of StatePlus on 21 May 2016. Completion is expected in early June.

First State Super is the superannuation fund manager for public servants in New South Wales.

First State Super intends to establish a new and innovative advice service that leverages the scale and geographic coverage of both organisations for the benefit of the members of First State Super, StatePlus and STC, according to Lander & Rogers.

The transaction creates the largest member-owned financial planning network in Australia, with more than 200 financial planners and $21 billion in retirement funds.

When this transaction is completed in June, First State Super will oversee a total investment pool of over $70 billion.

“First State Super succeeded in a highly competitive private tender process, but also had to take into account competition from a parallel public listing process being pursued by STC and its management,” Deanna Constable, Lander & Rogers lead partner, said.

“These ‘dual-track’ processes are rare, but this transaction was even more unique in that the IPO underwriting and marketing process progressed much further than is usually the case and provided an added [more] competitive dimension than is usual.”


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