As announced to the ASX, the 100 per cent acquisition of ME Bank will be fully funded by a $1.35bn equity raising, underwritten by UBS and Goldman Sachs.
The ABL transaction team was led by Corporate/M&A Partner Christine Fleer and Regulatory Partner Elyse Hilton – who managed the overall transaction – with assistance from a cross-practice team of other partners and lawyers advising on various aspects including banking, competition, employment and tax advice.
Christine Fleer commented on ABL’s involvement in the transaction: “We are delighted to have assisted ME Bank in achieving an exit for its shareholders – 26 industry super funds – via a sale to a culturally aligned new owner such as Bank of Queensland.”
Elyse Hilton added: “ABL’s deal team involved lawyers at all levels from many practice groups across our Melbourne and Sydney offices, advising on complicated issues throughout a highly competitive auction process.”
The deal team also included:
- Partners Jeremy Lanzer (Capital Markets), Matthew Lees (Competition), Clint Harding (Tax) and Bridget Little (Workplace Advisory)
- Special Counsel Laila De Melo (Banking & Finance)
- Senior Associates Luke Jedynak and Vidushee Deora (Corporate/M&A), Rachel Soh (Workplace Advisory) and Peter Scott (Tax)
- Lawyers Charlotte Inge, Miguel Ferreira, Karri Walker, Anna Sandiford and Nicole Phillips (Corporate/M&A), Harriet Craig (Litigation), Claire Southwell (Competition) and Rebecca Ryan (Banking & Finance)
- Law Graduates Yvonne Truong, Billy Sakis and Ryan Taylor (Corporate/M&A), Sinead Butler, Molly Scott and Aadil Master (Litigation) and Alex Rasmussen (Tax), and
- Paralegal Craig Evans (Litigation).
In ME Bank’s official announcement, Chairman Jim Evans said: “The Board determined that the proposal from BOQ, which highly values what has been built by ME, was in the best interests of our shareholders and the transaction was unanimously supported by them.
“BOQ and ME are a natural fit. They are both home-grown banks with a range of simple and easy to understand banking products. They both offer a genuine alternative to the big banks.”
Following completion of the acquisition, ME Bank will maintain its brand and continue to be based in Melbourne.
About Arnold Bloch Leibler
Arnold Bloch Leibler is a premium Australian commercial law firm renowned for advising clients on their most important transactions, commercial issues and disputes. From offices in Melbourne and Sydney, the firm provides advice to a diverse range of entrepreneurial Australian listed companies, family businesses, high-net-worth individuals and international corporations. The firm also has a dedicated pro bono practice providing advice on social, environmental and cultural issues to more than 150 charitable and not-for-profit organisations.