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Merrill Lynch, Pacific Equity Partners make joint-approach in Australia

A private equity consortium of Merrill Lynch Global Private Equity and Pacific Equity Partners has approached Veda Advantage, Australia-listed credit checking company, with a $636 million proposal.

Merrill Lynch Global Private Equity and Sydney-based Pacific Equity Partners have approached Veda Advantage with a take-private proposal to buy the listed Australian credit checking company at A$3.61 ($2.79; €2.15) a share.

The board of Veda Advantage, previously known as Baycorp Advantage, has decided to open its books to the consortium for due diligence, according to a filing with the Australian exchange today.

The indicative offer by the private equity consortium represents a 32 percent premium to Veda Advantage’s 3-month volume weighted average price up to the close of the trading day on 29 January, one day before the exchange was informed of the buyout proposal.

The offer translates approximately to A$823 million ($636 million).

The buyout firms have said they will to work “expeditiously,” within four to six weeks, to determine whether they can make a definitive proposal.

Veda Advantage said there was currently no proposal the board could consider recommending or putting to shareholders for consideration.

Allco Equity Partners, an investment company focused on private equity and corporate activist activities, which holds 17.3 percent of Veda Advantage’s issued capital, said  it would monitor developments and keep the market informed about AEP’s position.

Allcois also participating in the private equity takeover of Qantas Airways.