Australian share registry outfit Computershare is to acquire EquiServe, one of the largest providers of transfer agent and employee stock plan services in the US, from DST Systems, Inc.
Upon closing, DST will receive $216 million of cash plus 29.6 million shares of Computershare common stock with an approximate market value of $91 million.
The acquisition is planned for completion at the start of 2005.
Chris Morris, CEO and president of Computershare describes the deal as the "most momentous acquisition in Computershare's history, both in size and strategic importance".
It follows other recent Computershare US acquisitions, including Georgeson Shareholder Communications, Alamo Direct and Transcentive.
Says Morris: "Growing our business in the US has always been a critical part of our global strategy and this deal positions us as a leader in the US in both share registry and employee plans."
In total, EquiServe has around 1300 clients and provides services to almost 19 million shareholders. The employee plan administration business supports in excess of 1 million active employees. The primary processing facility is in Boston, Massachusetts, with additional major facilities in Jersey City and Edison, New Jersey, and Chicago, Illinois.
Tom McDonnell, president and CEO of DST Systems, Inc. comments: "Our decision to sell EquiServe to Computershare anticipated the future needs of our clients, whose requests have expanded for ancillary and integrated services for employee plans, employee and shareowner communications and proxy services."