Australia's Link Administration in talks with Waystone Group for sale of UK unit

Australia's Link Administration in talks with Waystone Group for sale of UK unit

Australia’s Link Administration on Monday said it was in exclusive talks with Dublin-based fund manager Waystone Group for the sale of its UK-based Fund Solutions (FS) unit while discussing settlement of the United Kingdom financial regulator’s probe into the unit.

The Australian share registry firm, along with Link Fund Solutions (LFS), said it was in advanced confidential talks with the UK Financial Conduct Authority over settling its investigation into the management of the now-defunct LF Woodford Equity Income Fund.

Link further added even if both of its on-going discussions were concluded, it would receive no net proceeds from the sale of its FS business, while it also warned of a near A$449 million ($308.4 million) non-cash impairment charge in its half-yearly results in relation to the troubled unit.

Regardless, Link expects its half-yearly operating earnings before interest and tax of A$80.2 million, which sits at the top end of the guidance range.

UK-based LFS was the authorised corporate director of fallen star manager Neil Woodford’s equity income fund which managed billions of pounds before being suspended amid a political and public outcry in 2019, triggering an investigation by the FCA.

LFS was also the major pain point in Link’s proposed A$2.47 billion buyout by Canada’s Dye & Durham DND.TO, which fell through in September after it hit regulatory snags.

Link Group on Monday said it had extended its exclusivity period to Waystone regarding the sale of FS business for conclusion of all necessary legal agreements before the end of March.


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