SYDNEY, July 17 (Reuters) – Australia and New Zealand Banking Group is closing in on a deal to buy the banking unit of insurer Suncorp Group, in what could be Australia’s biggest banking deal in more than a decade, domestic media reported.
ANZ and Suncorp were locked in late-stage talks on the weekend, the Australian Financial Review (AFR) said in a report on Saturday, citing sources involved in the talks.
The deal will involve “a big cash offer” from ANZ, the fourth-largest lender in Australia, and could be announced as early as Monday, the report said.
A Suncorp spokesperson said the company does not comment on market speculation. ANZ did not immediately respond to a request seeking comment outside normal business hours.
Suncorp’s banking operations could be worth about A$5 billion ($3.40 billion) and ANZ is expected to pay a premium for the acquisition, the AFR report said.
The report comes just days after ANZ revealed it was in talks with private equity firm KKR & Co to buy software company MYOB Group, in a deal that local media pegged at over A$4.5 billion ($3.06 billion).
The Australian newspaper said in a report ANZ has put its plan to buy MYOB on hold as it aims to raise capital to buy Suncorp’s banking operations.
Last month, Suncorp, Australia’s second-largest insurer by market value, said it was conducting a strategic review of its banking operations. ($1 = 1.4723 Australian dollars) (Reporting by Renju Jose; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)