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CBA joining bid to snap up PEXA?

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    Commonwealth Bank could be joining a consortium with Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) and Domain Group to bid for Property Exchange Australia (PEXA), the online property transfer network.

    According to a report by The Australian, CBA is keen to become part of the consortium should KKR and Domain be successful in acquiring PEXA.

    CBA already owns about 16% of the property transfer network. It also has a close relationship with KKR, with which it is finalizing a deal to sell KKR a 55% interest in its wealth manager, Colonial First State, The Australian reported.

    PEXA’s advisors are currently scheduling equity investor meetings to test the waters for a potential initial public offering for at least 44% of the business instead of a sale. Lin Administration Holdings, which owns a 44% stake in PEXA, is weighing a sale or IPO of its stake after receiving a $2.9 billion buyout proposal for the entire business from Pacific Equity Partners and The Carlyle Group.

    The interest will likely be sold or floated on the ASX, depending on which achieves the highest price, The Australian reported.

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    Trade buyers are reportedly set to put forth their final offers next month, valuing the business at about $3 billion – about $300 million over the valuation an IPO would likely achieve.

    Currently, the consortium of KKR and Domain – and probably CBA – seems to be one of the strongest contenders for the sale, along with Canada-based Dye and Durham. Macquarie Infrastructure Partners is no longer viewed as a frontrunner, while private equity firm Partners Group is reportedly out of the running altogether, according to The Australian.

    Ryan SmithRyan Smith is currently an executive editor at Key Media, where he started as a journalist in 2013. He has since he worked his way up to managing editor and is now an executive editor. He edits content for several B2B publications across the U.S., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. He also writes feature content for trade publications for the insurance and mortgage industries.
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