AMP, AXA deal wins shareholder approval
A Aus$13 billion merger that will create a "fifth pillar" in Australian banking moved a step closer Wednesday as minority shareholders in AXA Asia Pacific approving the tie-up with AMP.
Australia's AMP wants to buy AXA Asia Pacific, integrate its Australian and New Zealand businesses with its own and sell its Asian interests to AXA's French parent company, AXA SA, for about Aus$10.4 billion ($10.54 billion).
The deal won Australian government approval Tuesday, with Treasurer Wayne Swan saying the new entity would be a strong competitor to the nation's four major banks and is expected to receive court approval next week.
AXA Asia Pacific's independent directors had already supported the proposal but a shareholder meeting in Melbourne on Wednesday also voted overwhelmingly in favour of the deal, according to Dow Jones Newswires.
AMP combines financial, wealth management and banking services and the planned merger comes after National Australia Bank's rival bid was dismissed by competition regulators.
© 2011 AFP