Westpac Group today announced the sale of its Pacific businesses – Westpac Fiji and Westpac’s 89.91% stake in Westpac Bank PNG Limited – to Kina Securities Limited (ASX:KSL) (Kina Bank) for up to $420 million.
As part of the sale agreement, Kina Bank has committed to jobs for all local employees, and to maintaining the current Westpac network as it currently stands with no reduction in branches, ATMs or Instores.
Westpac’s Managing Director for Westpac Pacific and Specialist Finance, Michael Correa, said the sale follows the Group’s strategic decision to focus on consumer, business and institutional banking in Australia and New Zealand.
“We are taking another step in becoming a simpler, stronger bank while ensuring a high standard of banking services is maintained for our Pacific customers, as well as providing new opportunities for our people.
Westpac said choosing the right purchaser who would provide economic growth in the region and opportunities for customers and employees was important.
“We are very aware of the role we play for our customers and the communities we operate in and choosing the right purchaser for our businesses is important to us – so we’re pleased our Pacific business is being acquired by Kina Bank.
“I am confident of Kina Bank’s commitment to service and that our customers will enjoy a smooth transition – particularly as our valued local staff will also transition to Kina Bank as part of the sale terms,” Mr Correa said.
Commenting on the acquisition, Kina Bank’s Chief Executive Officer Greg Pawson said: “We are very excited about this opportunity and creating a stronger and more effective banking competitor for PNG and Fiji. The acquisition is perfectly aligned with our current strategy to be a dynamic and innovative full service regional bank with a market leading digital platform.”
Completion of the transaction is subject to local regulatory approvals and Kina Bank shareholder approval and is expected to occur in the latter part of 2021.