NAB's keeps bid for AXA Asia Pacific alive

9th August 2010, Comments 0 comments

National Australia Bank Monday kept its hopes of a multi-billion dollar takeover of financial services firm AXA Asia Pacific alive with a plan to make divestments to remove competition concerns.

France's AXA SA and NAB agreed in March on the buyout of AXA Asia Pacific, under which the French side would take its subsidiary's Asian arm while NAB would control its Australian and New Zealand businesses.

But the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) blocked the 13.3 billion dollar (12.2 billion US) takeover by the country's fourth largest bank the following month citing competition concerns.

The ACCC said it would reassess the situation if AXA Asia Pacific divested itself of its specialised investment platform North to IOOF Holdings Limited.

"Following market consultation, the ACCC will decide whether to accept or reject the proposed undertakings, including IOOF as a proposed purchaser of the divestiture business," the body said in a statement.

The ACCC said it expected to make its final decision in early September.

NAB said the proposed divestment did not detract from its strategic rationale to acquire AXA Asia Pacific's Australian and New Zealand businesses.

"NAB has listened to the ACCC's concerns and taken them into account in developing the divestment proposal," said Steve Tucker, head of its wealth management operations.

-- Dow Jones Newswires contributed to this story --

© 2010 AFP

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