National Australia Bank (NAB) is a step closer to taking over AXA Asia Pacific Holdings Ltd. (AXA APH) after the bank’s examination of the wealth manager’s books found nothing to derail its A$13.3 billion proposal.
NAB’s A$6.43-a-share all-cash bid–endorsed by the target’s independent directors over a rival proposal from AMP Ltd. –was subject to a number of conditions including that it completed satisfactory due diligence. NAB and AXA APH announced Friday that the due diligence has been completed.
“There were no adverse findings,” said a NAB spokesman. “We remain committed to our proposal.”
The proposal also requires that France’s AXA SA, which owns 53.9% of AXA APH, agrees to buy the unit’s Asian operations from NAB, leaving the Australian and New Zealand units to the local bank.
However, AXA SA is locked in an exclusivity deal with its bidding partner AMP until Feb. 6, meaning it can’t begin discussions with NAB until then