Commonwealth Bank, Morgan Stanley Infrastructure and ASX-listed Link Group have agreed to buy Property Exchange Australia in a deal that values the online property settlements company at about $1.6 billion.
The consortium has already increased its shareholding past 50 per cent and PEXA’s planned IPO has been cancelled.
Macquarie Group, the big four consumer banks, Link, Little Group and the Victorian, NSW, Queensland and WA governments were the stakeholders in PEXA, which helps lawyers, conveyancers and financial institutions lodge documents with land registries and to complete electronic settlements.
CBA, which will pay $50 million to increase its holding from 13.1 per cent to 16 per cent, says the move is part of a strategy to focus on its core banking businesses.
‘Having been a key stakeholder in PEXA since its inception in 2011, today’s announcement represents our continued commitment to support the property industry as it transitions towards an innovative, fully digital, settlements process that aims to provide improved experiences for customers,’ CBA chief executive Matt Comyn said.
Link said it will raise its stake from 19.8 per cent to between 27 and 44 per cent, depending on the number of acceptances.
The record-keeping and IT firm will fund the move through cash and existing debt facilities.