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Bendigo and Adelaide Bank agrees to buy Rural Finance’s business and assets for $1.78 billion


Key points:

  • Bendigo and Adelaide Bank to acquire business and assets of Rural Finance Corporation of Victoria
  • Purchase price of approximately $1.78 billion
  • Completion date of early to mid July, 2014

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank (the Bank) has strengthened its commitment to rural and regional customers, by agreeing to buy the business and assets of Rural Finance Corporation of Victoria (Rural Finance).

The purchase was formalised with the Victorian State Government earlier today, and will be for all the assets and business of Rural Finance, including its loan book, which will have an estimated value of approximately $1.695 billion, at the proposed completion date of early to mid July, 2014.

The Bank will pay about $1.78i billion and has committed to maintaining Rural Finance’s distinct brand and its presence in 11 locations across Victoria.

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Managing Director Mike Hirst said the purchase reflected the Bank’s ongoing commitment to grow its agri-capability and support for rural and regional customers.

“This transaction brings together two iconic Victorian businesses, both with long and proud histories of serving farmers and communities,” Mr Hirst said.

“In particular we’re pleased that the skilled and experienced staff at Rural Finance will join our organisation, and continue to assist their clients.

“Rural Finance will work together with our existing specialist agricultural business, Rural Bank, to serve more than 5,200 farmers across Victoria – with a loan book in excess of $2.4 billion.”

As part of the sale the Bank proposes to maintain Rural Finance’s range of community-based programs, including its Young Farmer Finance Scheme, and the administration of farmer and exceptional circumstances assistance programs on behalf of the Government.

“The Rural Finance business and strategy aligns perfectly with our community values and long-stated goal of being the most customer connected bank in Australia,” Mr Hirst said.

“We are confident that bringing this business under our umbrella will result in a broader and more dynamic offering to Victorian farmers, and we look forward to continuing to invest in the agricultural sector and our regional communities.”

Rural Finance CEO Rob Goudswaard said the new ownership is an exciting opportunity for the staff and clients of Rural Finance, taking the employee and client value proposition to the next level.

“We are very enthused about the Bank’s plan to leverage Rural Finance’s strong relationships and deep understanding of Victorian agriculture to grow their connections with regional and rural clients, including Rural Finance’s long standing support for young farmers and industry insight initiatives such as Ag Answers, Great State of Ag and Farm Monitor Program,” Mr Goudswaard said.

The acquisition is subject to APRA approval and completion is expected to occur in early to mid July 2014.

i Based on an expected loan balance of $1.695 billion at the proposed completion date of early to mid July, 2014