IOOF bid for Equity Trustees?

IOOF may have been trumped in its takeover bid for The Trust Co. But it now could pounce on Equity Trustees

How's that for a consolation prize?

After muscling its way into a three way takeover bid for the Trust Co (TRU), IOOF (IFL) has ended up with a strategic stake in Equity Trustees (EQT), the very group that kicked off the bidding war.

And that could easily translate into yet another takeover in the trustee industry.

Despite its size, Equity Trustees launched the offer for the much larger The Trust Co earlier this year, which has long held a stake in Equity Trustees, only to have Perpetual (PPT) come in over the top.

The small trustee company thought it still had a chance when the competition regulator launched  an investigation into Perpetual's offer. But earlier this month, IOOF complicated proceedings when it briefly trumped Perpetual, only to have its Sydney rival up its bid and receive an all clear from the ACCC.

Never one to pass up an opportunity, IOOF chief Chris Kelaher has struck a handy deal with Perpetual to alleviate it of the 13% stake in Equity Trustees, should the deal receive shareholder approval.

Kelaher describes the stake as long term holding in "an industry we understand extremely well."

It could also be described as a launching pad for a takeover of Equity Trustees.