Sweden’s PE firm EQT walks away from $2b bid for Australia’s Iress

Swedish private-equity firm EQT has ended talks to buy Australia’s Iress Ltd for $2.3 billion, sending shares in the financial software company spiralling lower on Friday.

Despite raising its bid three times to gain exclusive due diligence access, EQT said it had decided not to proceed with an offer for one of the main providers of trading and investment software to Australian brokers, advisors, banks and insurers.

“We have not come across any red flags during our due diligence but were not able to sufficiently confirm our investment hypothesis,” Thomas Von Koch, EQT‘s Chairman of Asia-Pacific, said in a joint statement with Iress.

Iress shares fell 10.7% to A$12.08 ($8.83) after Friday’s announcement by the two firms. EQT had raised its bid last month to A$15.91 per share, valuing Iress at A$3.2 billion after its two previous offers were rejected.

“Although we expect management’s strategy to successfully restart earnings growth, it will take time and we expect shareholders will be increasingly impatient following the failure of the EQT bid,” Morningstar analyst Gareth James said.

The Australian company said it remained committed to doubling its net profit after tax by 2025 with potential for further upside, and reaffirmed its full-year 20221 forecast for segment profit of between A$164 million and A$168 million.

It said it had spent about A$4 million to A$5 million before tax in the unsuccessful transaction.

In 2019, EQT also withdrew a A$3.3 billion buyout offer for Australian telco Vocus Group after a due diligence period. The firm was later acquired by a consortium for A$3.5 billion.

Reuters

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.