KWM assists fintech company on acquisition and $170m capital raising

The acquisition is considered among the first public M&A deals to take place in Australia post-COVID, the firm says

KWM assists fintech company on acquisition and $170m capital raising

King & Wood Mallesons (KWM) has acted for fintech company Iress on its acquisition of funds management group OneVue.

The firm said in a June press release that the acquisition was a “significant milestone for the market,” as it is “understood to be among the very first post-COVID public M&A transactions in Australia.”

The transaction also involved a $170m capital raising, which would help fund the acquisition. The raising consisted of a $150m institutional placement and a share purchase plan that is expected to generate about $20m.

The remainder of the equity raised will be applied to Iress’ balance sheet.

“The combination of OneVue's strength and position in administration of managed funds, superannuation, and investments, with Iress' strength in software and data will drive innovation through technology,” said Andrew Walsh, chief executive of Iress, in a statement on Business News Australia.

Walsh said that the company’s strategy is to “continue to generate long-term growth opportunities, leveraging technology and automation, while helping to achieve efficiency, compliance and growth” in the face of “structural shifts and changing market dynamics.”

Corporate and M&A partner Joe Muraca, who led KWM’s team on the transaction alongside fellow partner Rob Kelly, said that the transaction would help raise confidence in the deal market despite the environment created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This deal should give us all confidence—amid the challenges global markets currently face, it’s possible for buyers and sellers to find value and agree deal terms,” Muraca said.

He and Kelly were supported by senior associate Jack Hill on the capital raising transaction.

“It has been a great effort across our Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane offices,” Kelly said. “Remote collaboration on this scale is possible because we’ve invested in technology which allows our people to work together effectively with clients and other advisers, and to link up with the other side, wherever those parties may be—it was very much a transaction negotiated from living rooms and studies across the country.”

“Executing a capital raising or a public M&A negotiation is always challenging. To do both at the same time is even more difficult. Doing them simultaneously while working from home during a pandemic is an enormous accomplishment by all involved,” Muraca said.

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