Westpac abandons sale of Hastings Funds Management

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Westpac abandons sale of Hastings Funds Management

Westpac Banking Corp has abandoned the sale of its infrastructure arm Hastings Funds Management due to current external market conditions, among others reasons.

This announcement comes after Westpac Banking Corp extended, in February, the deadline for the final bid to acquire Hastings. The interested bidders were expected to submit their proposals by mid March.

Apparently about five or six parties have been in talks to acquire the infrastructure fund manager, however, the firm has announced that it is no longer engaged in discussions with the parties and ceased strategic conversations and due diligence for the deal.

According to local newspapers in Australia, there were two front runners to acquire Hastings: American pension fund manager Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company, which was advised by Morgan Stanley, and TIAA-CREF, advised by JP Morgan. The two companies had offered a price earnings multiple of less than 8 to 10 times, which is well below the multiple on which listed fund managers trade.

Hastings is a specialist fund manager of infrastructure equity and debt dedicated to delivering reliable and consistent investment returns to a wide range of institutional and retail investors. Established in 1994, Hastings was one of Australia's first infrastructure fund managers and has a proven investment and asset management track record through its strong fiduciary culture and focus on core infrastructure equity and debt.

Hastings was fully acquired by the Westpac Group in 2005. In 2008 Hastings integrated with Westpac's Specialised Capital Group taking funds under management from more than $5 billion to approximately $7 billion.

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