KWM assists Bank of Queensland on ME Bank acquisition and $1.35bn capital raising

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Bank of Queensland's strategic ambitions have been the focus of a KWM deal team guiding BOQ on its announced acquisition of ME Bank and associated capital raising.

KWM advised BOQ on all aspects of the transaction, combining M&A, banking, insurance, IT/IP, competition and ECM expertise to help execute the acquisition and associated $1.35bn equity raising.

To fund the acquisition, BOQ is undertaking an underwritten accelerated pro-rata non-renounceable entitlement offer to raise approximately $1.0bn and an underwritten $350m institutional placement.

BOQ considers the acquisition a transformative one, with ME Bank's business delivering material scale, doubling BOQ's retail bank, and providing geographic diversification to the benefit of BOQ, its shareholders, customers, and people.

The core KWM team was led by partners Rhys Casey and David Friedlander, supported by Senior Associates Jo Ruitenberg and Matt McKeown and solicitors Tamara Akl, Samantha McDonald, Caroline Paskevich and Astrid Sugden.  Simon Cooke handled the competition aspects, with Kate Jackson-Maynes and Sam Farrell covering regulatory, Kirsten Bowe on IT/IP and Mandy Tsang on insurance.

"This is an exciting deal for BOQ.  The future of banking is increasingly digital, so the opportunity to leverage ME Bank's digital assets and their potential to accelerate BOQ's strategic objectives was pretty compelling," said Rhys Casey, commenting on the transaction.

Subject to necessary approvals, it is expected the deal will complete by the end of BOQ's financial year in August 2021.

KWM is a leading adviser in the financial services sector and has a proud relationship with BOQ, having acted on the issue of BOQ's institutional placement and share purchase plan in 2019 and the issue of BOQ's Capital Notes in 2017 and Capital Notes 2 in 2020.