June 18, 2020 / 12:58 AM / 24 days ago

Australia's Westpac agrees sale of Pendal stake for $128 million

FILE PHOTO: A pedestrian looks at his phone as he walks past a logo for Australia's Westpac Banking Corp located outside a branch in central Sydney, Australia, November 5, 2018. REUTERS/David Gray

(Reuters) - Westpac Banking Corp (WBC.AX) said on Thursday it has agreed to sell its remaining 9.5% stake in fund operator Pendal Group Ltd (PDL.AX) to institutional investors for about A$185.4 million ($128 million).

The sale of 31 million shares at A$5.98 each, a 4% discount to Pendal's last closing share price, completes Westpac's exit after the bank sold the first portion of its then 29% stake in 2017. (reut.rs/2UOogIv)

“The success of the offer has delivered a good result for Westpac and is aligned with our strategy of simplifying our operations and focusing on banking in Australia and New Zealand,” acting Chief Financial Officer Gary Thursby said.

Westpac said the deal settlement on June 22 will add about 2 basis points to its common equity Tier 1 capital ratio and provide a post-tax accounting gain of A$32 million in the second half of the year.

Westpac will also likely withdraw A$1.08 billion worth of funds from Pendal in two tranches by the end of 2021, it said on Wednesday when announcing the planned shares sale.

Pendal, previously known as BT Investment Management, last month reported a 14% decline in funds under management in the first half, led by A$2 billion worth of outflows from the Westpac book.

Swiss investment bank UBS is underwriter and bookrunner for the share sale.

Reporting by Anushka Trivedi and Shashwat Awasthi in Bengaluru, editing by Louise Heavens and Jane Wardell

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