Australia's Link ends $854 mln takeover talks with Dye & Durham

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 Australia's Link ends $854 mln takeover talks with Dye & Durham
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(Adds Link CEO comments)

By Scott Murdoch

Dec 8 (Reuters) - Australia's Link Administration Holdings Ltd said on Thursday it had ended talks with Canada's Dye & Durham Ltd to sell its corporate markets and banking and credit management businesses for A$1.27 billion ($853.8 million).

Link shares closed down 1.5% at A$3.33 after dropping 9.5% soon after trade opened.

Cloud-based software firm Dye & Durham has been trying to buy Link Administration or parts of it since last December in a long-running takeover tussle.

The failed deal joins a growing number of Australian transactions that ended up not going ahead in 2022, led by KKR & Co Inc's $13 billion bid for private hospitals group Ramsay Health Care Ltd.

In a statement to the Australian Securities Exchange, Link said Dye & Durham had proposed deferring part of its payment for the business for two years.

Link said, in its opinion, Dye & Durham had not been able to progress its bid and show it had committed financing after two months of negotiations. Dye & Durham did not immediately respond to a request for comment on whether its funding had been secured.

"We believed now was the right time to call time on the takeover activity and that will allow us to focus on running the business," Link Chief Executive Vivek Bhatia told Reuters.

He said the company wanted certainty on funding and acceptable terms before signing a binding contract.

"You could say, what's another two weeks, another four weeks, but for our team and our clients, everyone deserves a clear decision."

Dye & Durham lodged a bid for Link's business units in October after its earlier bid to acquire the full company fell through due to regulatory headwinds and global market volatility.

The Canadian group told Reuters its revised bid for the corporate markets business was reflective of its valuation.

"While we believe the business continues to have attractive characteristics and would establish a new, strategic growth vertical for Dye & Durham, we are not willing to do a deal at any price," the company said in an emailed statement.

Link also reaffirmed its fiscal 2023 outlook on Thursday. ($1 = 1.4874 Australian dollars) (Reporting by Scott Murdoch in Sydney, and Navya Mittal and Savyata Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta, Stephen Coates and Edmund Klamann)


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