BoQ buys Investec’s Australian finance business

Greenhill & Co managed the auction of Investec’s Australian asset finance unit as the South African bank shrinks and focuses on advisory services in Australia.

Bank of Queensland has announced the $440 million acquisition of Investec Bank (Australia’s) asset finance unit and any deposits associated with the businesses.

The bank has launched a $400m accelerated rights issue to fund the deal, which is expected to go ahead by the end of its financial year, assuming regulatory approval. The institutional offer opened Friday morning while the retail offer is planned to open Thursday. 

Investec said about 310 people working for Investec will work for Bank of Queensland.

"Investec Group remains committed to the Australian market," said Investec Australia chief executive Ciaran Whelan.

"We have an experienced leadership team with a focused business backed by a strong global balance sheet and parent. We are in a good position to concentrate on what we do best within our specialist niches and to demonstrate our distinctive approach."

Last year, Johannesburg-based Investec conducted a strategic review of its Australian business and decided to retreat from a full-service business model to a boutique firm focused on corporate advice, lending and arranging.

Investec is likely to shrink to three business units in Australia: an investment bank run by Ben Smith; a corporate lending and arranging business run by Milton Samios; and a property asset management business run by Graeme Katz.

Greenhill & Co managed the auction of the Investec unit.

(Reporting by Brett.Cole@businessspectator.com.au)