Regulator Starts Reviewing NAB Bid for AXA Asia Pacific

Submitted by Jim Thesiger on 20 January, 2010 - 14:57

The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) has started an informal review of National Australia Bank’s (NAB) $13.3 billion worth of take over bid for AXA Asia Pacific Holdings, according to an announcement made by the regulator. In its announcement, the competition regulator also added that it is willing to announce its findings on March 18th. NAB is considered as one of the leading financial institutions of Australia that offers banking and financial services to corporations, small businesses and individuals. It is to be mentioned that National Australia Bank came up with its proposal on December 17th to buy the AXA Asia Pacific shares for $6.43 per share upstaging the rival proposal from AMP- the second largest fund manager of Australia. NAB will now have to pursue AXA SA, the 53.9 percent owner of AXA Asia Pacific to accept its proposal as in the past it supported the AMP proposal.

Previously ACCC stated that it is keeping a close eye on the NAB proposal and was waiting for NAB’s submission. In a statement, the competition regulator stated that Nation Australia Bank sought the clearance from ACCC for its proposal to take over AXA Asia Pacific Holdings’ Australia and New Zealand based operations. It was noted by the regulator that AXA Asia Pacific and NAB overlaps in some business sectors which includes wealth management and financial planning, life insurance and advisory.

It is to be mentioned that AXA SA is locked under an exclusivity agreement with AMP till February 6th. After that, it may start talks with NAB regarding its proposal. AMP’s proposal will also go through an ACCC informal review although the AMP proposal was turned down by the independent directors of AXA APH who were favoring the NAB proposal. ACCC is expected to come up with its findings regarding the AMP proposal on February 10th.