Monday, October 3

Dye & Durham cuts buyout offer for Link to $1.3 bln after UK watchdog conditions

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Australia’s Link Administration Holdings said on Monday Canadian software firm Dye & Durham (DND) has lowered its buyout offer, now valuing the share registry firm at A$1.95 billion ($1.31 billion), citing the UK financial watchdog’s conditions for the takeover.

The Australian competition regulator last week approved the A$2.47 billion buyout, ending a nine-month saga involving multiple offers for Link’s stake in online property settlement firm PEXA Group.

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The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said earlier this month that Link Fund Solutions, one of seven UK-regulated entities owned by Link which managed the defunct LF Woodford Equity Income Fund (WEIF), could be forced to pay up to 306 million pounds in redress.

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More than 300,000 investors took losses from the fund’s collapse in June 2019 due to liquidity issues, which the FCA has been investigating.

DND told Link in a Sept. 18 letter it could not accept FCA’s conditions, which would push the Sydney-based company to set aside provisions to pay the potential fines.

Link said it was unable to recommend the new proposal, under which shareholders will get an upfront cash payment of A$3.81 per share, a full A$1 less than the offer agreed to in July.

However, DND told Link in a letter its shareholders would be entitled to get another A$1 per share in cash if UK’s FCA finds that LFSL is not liable for the redress payments. ($1 = 1.4865 Australian dollars) ($1 = 1.4870 Australian dollars) (Reporting by Sameer Manekar in Bengaluru; Editing by Richard Chang)

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