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AUB drops MGA Whittles acquisition

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AUB Group says it will not go ahead with the planned $140 million acquisition of Adelaide-based MGA Whittles Group that was announced last month, after assessing the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

“The parties have agreed not to proceed to completion of the proposed transaction announced to the market,” AUB says in a COVID-19 update to the Australian Securities Exchange this morning.

“The parties intend to revisit the proposal as soon as practicable and remain firmly committed to the existing partnership in the interim.”

AUB, which currently has a 49.9% shareholding in MGA, said on February 17 that it planned to acquire the remaining 50.1%, as well as 100% of strata specialist Whittles.

The decision means AUB will not pay the proposed cash amount of $29.1 million or make the proposed share issue and will not be required to repay the existing debt facilities of MGA Whittles.

The broking group today also says it is withdrawing its earning guidance given the evolving coronavirus situation and “considers it prudent” to defer payment of the interim dividend.

More details in our regular bulletin this afternoon.