Shareholders overwhelmingly approve the $244 million acquisition bid
More than 98% of shareholders voted to go ahead with the $244 million deal, while only 0.94% voted against it, according to a report by The Adviser. The acquisition needed a majority of 75% to pass. Mortgage Choice’s directors had unanimously recommended that shareholders okay the deal.
“We are very excited to be joining forces with REA,” said Mortgage Choice CEO Susan Mitchell. “The logic in bringing our businesses together is compelling, creating a business of scale with a strong human and digital offering. It allows us to assist more customers in a more effective way and accelerate opportunities for our network.”
The scheme of arrangement remains subject to a second court hearing, which is scheduled for 17 June, The Adviser reported. If the court approves the deal, the implementation date is expected to be 1 July. On that date, registered Mortgage Choice shareholders will receive a cash consideration of $1.95 per share.
The deal will make Mortgage Choice a wholly owned subsidiary of REA, along with franchise broking group Smartline. The deal will bring the total number of brokers under the group to 900, The Adviser reported.
The existing Mortgage Choice directors will resign once the deal is complete, and the company’s board will be reconstituted in accordance with REA’s instructions. The new board will review Mortgage Choice’s operations and organisational structure to determine if any major changes should be made.
Mortgage Choice is expected to continue to operate from its current locations, including its head office, according to The Adviser. REA has said that it intends to “continue the business and strategic direction of Mortgage Choice, including actively pursuing growth opportunities available to Mortgage Choice.”