Private equity firm EQT Fund Management has finally cleared the first hurdle to fulfil its ambition to buy Melbourne-headquartered fintech company Iress.
On 10 August 2021, Iress received a third confidential, non-binding and indicative proposal from funds represented by EQT. The proposal was a revised implied value of A$15.91 per share.
This equates to an equity value of A$3.1bn and an enterprise value of A$3.2bn (£1.68bn, $2.3bn, €1.96bn).
The Iress board said, within an Australian Stock Exchange filing on 11 August, that it “has carefully considered the proposal, including obtaining advice from its financial and legal advisers, and considers it in the best interests of shareholders to engage further with EQT in relation to the proposal”.
“Iress has agreed to grant EQT a period of 30 days to undertake its due diligence.”
The fintech firm provides software and services for trading & market data, financial advice, investment management, mortgages, superannuation, life & pensions and data intelligence. It has operations in Asia Pacific, North America, Africa, Europe and the UK.
EQT Fund Management has had two bids for Iress rejected over the last few months.
The first confidential, unsolicited, non-binding and indicative proposal was received on 18 June 2021 and put the price at A$14.80 per share.
But it was not considered to be in the best interests of shareholders.
The follow up offer, which was received on 4 July, upped the price to between A$15.30 and A$15.50 per share. Again, the board determined that it was not sufficiently compelling.