Connective proposed merger with AFG – ACCC Statement of Issues

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The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) today released a Statement of Issues (SOI) and announced that it wishes to examine in further detail the proposed merger between Connective and Australian Finance Group.

The SOI (Statement of Issues) seeks industry views and further information on certain competition issues that have arisen from the ACCC’s market inquiries to date. The SOI is not a final decision. It provides the ACCC’s preliminary views on the proposed merger.

Connective will continue to work with the ACCC and AFG to progress the proposed transaction through the ACCC process and is confident the issues raised can be addressed to the satisfaction of the ACCC.

Connective Chief Executive Officer Glenn Lees said “We understand the Connective-AFG merger is an important transaction and always expected that the review process would take some time. We fully respect the ACCC’s robust approval process and will work with the ACCC to address any concerns.”

“We firmly believe there will be no substantial lessening of competition in any relevant market from Connective’s merger with AFG. In fact, our merged businesses will be in a position to offer consumers greater choice and a market with greater competition. Mortgage brokers and lenders can expect a greater investment in technology and compliance, all resulting in better outcomes for homebuyers.

“It is still business as usual for Connective and we remain focused on delivering excellent service to our brokers.”

As noted previously, the transaction is also subject to court approval (a non-customary condition). This process has begun, and a final decision is not currently anticipated until after the second half of FY20.