ANZ bids to take over E*Trade Australia

ANZ bids to take over E*Trade Australia

Australian banking group ANZ has made a bid to buy the remaining 65.8% stake it doesn't already own in Internet broker E*Trade Australia for around $268 million.

Under the deal ANZ, which currently holds a 34.2% stake in E*Trade Australia, says it will offer A$4.05 per share for the remaining part of the company.

The offer values E*Trade at A$407 million - a 17% premium to the firm's average share price over the last month.

Commenting on the offer, ANZ Group managing director personal, Brian Hartzer says: "ANZ has the capabilities now to add further value to E*Trade Australia's business by developing its technology platform, building and leveraging scale, and accelerating growth."

Hartzer says the bank intends to retain and grow the E*Trade brand, subject to agreement with E*Trade Financial Corporation, when current licensing agreements expire in 2009.

Kerry Roxburgh, chairperson, E*Trade Australia, says: "The committee of independent directors have concluded it is in the best interests of all shareholders and are pleased for shareholders to consider it."

E*Trade Australia is the country's second largest online broker, with a 26% share of the market, behind CBA's CommSec service which is thought to hold a market share of around 46%.

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