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ANZ mulls UDC Finance IPO after sale rejected

ANZ mulls UDC Finance IPO after sale rejected by Overseas Investment Office

By Sophie Boot

March 20 (BusinessDesk) - ANZ Bank New Zealand said it's exploring an initial public offering for UDC Finance after a planned $660 million sale to Chinese conglomerate HNA Group was rejected by the Overseas Investment Office in December.

ANZ NZ chief executive David Hisco said an IPO was "part of a range of strategic options for UDC’s future" as part of ANZ’s strategy to simplify the bank and improve capital efficiency.

"While UDC is continuing to perform well and there is no immediate requirement to make decisions, after last year’s planned sale to HNA did not proceed it makes sense to keep examining a broad range of options for UDC’s future," Hisco said. "This will include exploring whether, subject to market conditions, an IPO would be in the interests of UDC’s staff and customers, and ANZ shareholders.

"The range of strategic options we have for UDC, including approaches we have received regarding the business and the option of retaining it, will take a number of months to examine before any decision is made," Hisco said. "In the meantime, it will continue to be business as usual for UDC."

The HNA sale was first announced by ANZ in January 2017, but was terminated a year later after the OIO declined the application because it did not determine who the relevant overseas person was from the information provided about ownership and control interests.

Dual listed parent Australia & New Zealand Banking Group's shares last traded at $29.87 on the NZX and have dropped 13 percent in the past 12 months.

(BusinessDesk)

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