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CBA offloads advice business

The Commonwealth Bank has announced the sale of its financial advisory business for $2.5 million. 

Together with a special purpose subsidiary of a discretionary trust established for the benefit of Count Member Firms, CountPlus will enter a binding sale and purchase agreement to purchase Count Financial from the Commonwealth Bank for $2.5 million, pending shareholder approval, according to a statement on the ASX.

CountPlus will hold 85 per cent of Count Financial, while Count Member Firms will hold the remaining 15 per cent.

It said a notice of meeting and independent expert report will be issued shortly. Further, a shareholder extraordinary general meeting will be held in early August and the proposed completion of the acquisition to be 1 October.

CBA also confirmed that it is intending to sell down its 35.85 per cent equity interest in CountPlus. It is also offering $200 million of indemnity to cover remediation of past product as part of the deal. 

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CountPlus managing director and chief executive Matthew Rowe said the strategic acquisition creates a strong professional accounting and financial advisory network aligned by its shared values, mutual success and sense of community.

“The board and executive team at CountPlus are focused on clear strategy for growth, and building a scalable and sustainable, customer-centric professional service network,” Mr Rowe said.

“The company is pleased with today’s announcement, and the directors encourage shareholders to endorse this acquisition at the upcoming extraordinary general meeting.

“This acquisition will take us one step closer towards our vision to become Australia’s leading network of professional accounting and advice firms, aligned through shared values, mutual success and our sense of community.”

Count Financial has 359 advisers and 160 firms with $8.1 billion of funds under administration.

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