Australia’s ANZ in advanced talks to buy Suncorp’s banking arm-media

Australia’s ANZ in advanced talks to buy Suncorp’s banking arm-media

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)

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