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Financial Planning

Count, Diverger forge ahead with acquisition

One day after COG Financial Services backed out of the running, Count announced that its acquisition of Diverger will go ahead and flagged that it's upped its offer price.

Count is now willing to pay more for every Diverger share at $1.3651 - more than the $1.14 offer it made in September, but less than what COG put on the table.

The Scheme Implementation Agreement signed by both parties shows that Count is offering a 40 cents cash consideration (up from 36.7 cents) and a scrip consideration of 1.44 (up from 1.38).

Yesterday, COG withdrew its $27 million offer, yet still believed that its $1.4083 per share proposal was superior. Instead, it announced today that it bought a stake into Centrepoint Alliance for $13.05 million.

The new offer price represents a 52% premium on Diverger's last closing price as at September 21.

Diverger said it "continues to unanimously consider that the scheme is in the best interests of Diverger shareholders" and urges all shareholders to vote in favour of the takeover.

HUB24, Diverger's largest shareholder with a 34.4% stake, together with Harvest Lane Asset Management (5.7%), and Kevin White and associates (4.8%), confirmed they support the transaction.

"In making this recommendation, the Diverger board continues to believe the proposed Scheme provides compelling benefits to Diverger shareholders and is the result of a considered and continuing strategy focused on creating more transformational shareholder outcomes by capitalising on the consolidation opportunity in the advice and accounting market. Specifically, the combined group comprising Diverger and Count is expected to benefit from a significantly strengthened market position, enhanced scale and provides a platform for enhanced market liquidity across both shareholder bases," Diverger said.

Diverger shareholders will be able to vote on the transaction in late January 2024.

Read more: DivergerCountCOG Financial ServicesCentrepoint AllianceHarvest Lane Asset ManagementKevin White