However, proposed deal is still subject to several conditions – including shareholder approval
The firm announced that the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) has “no objections under the Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Act 1975 to the proposed acquisition… by way of a scheme of arrangement.”
While approval from the FIRB represents a big step in REA’s acquisition plans, the deal remains subject to several conditions – including approval of the Mortgage Choice shareholders and the subsequent approval of the Supreme Court of New South Wales.
REA Group had announced its proposal to acquire Mortgage Choice in March, aiming to “accelerate” its financial services strategy, which includes franchise broking group Smartline.
“The proposed acquisition of Mortgage Choice is an exciting development that will bring together our well-established Smartline business and franchisee network with the complementary Mortgage Choice organisation and its significant broker footprint,” said Owen Wilson, chief executive officer of REA Group. “Together with our Smartline business, having Mortgage Choice join the REA network will enable us to provide our audience with an even greater number of expert brokers to meet their financing needs.”
“The logic in bringing the two businesses together is very compelling, it creates a business of scale and with a strong human and digital offering and allows us to assist more customers in a more effective way and accelerate opportunities for our network,” said Mitchell.