ANZ has confirmed it is in talks to acquire small business accounting software platform MYOB, following media reports the Big Four bank is prepared to spend billions of dollars to boost its offerings to the SME sector.
In a notice filed with the Australian Securities Exchange on Wednesday morning, ANZ responded to “market speculation” by confirming discussions with private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. (KKR), which acquired MYOB in 2018 for $2 billion.
“ANZ and KKR are yet to reach agreement in relation to the acquisition and there is no certainty it will proceed,” the note said.
“ANZ will make an announcement to the market if the negotiations are successfully completed and an agreement is entered into,” it added.
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The Australian Financial Review reports ANZ is contemplating spending in excess of $4.5 billion in the deal, which the paper said could arrive by Thursday.
Reports about the potential acquisition bubbled up last month, but neither the bank nor MYOB formally commented at the time.
Speculation over the deal has drawn attention to how ownership of MYOB could bolster ANZ’s offerings to Australia’s small business sector.
While MYOB already offers lending and banking integrations, including a finance hub powered by invoice financer Butn and business loan marketplace Valiant, ANZ ownership could feasibly provide plug-and-play access for existing bank customers and streamline reporting come tax-time.
Indeed, ANZ’s ASX statement reflects the grip MYOB has on the sector, saying: “MYOB is one of Australia’s leading providers of business management, financial and accounting solutions for SMEs, Enterprise and Accounting Practice customers.”
Any potential transaction will need regulatory approval from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and the New Zealand Overseas Investments Office, ANZ said.