Bank of Queensland (BOQ) Chairman Neil Roberts today announced that Home Building Society Chairman Tony Howarth had accepted an invitation to join the BOQ Board.
Bank of Queensland and Home Building Society (Home) announced on August 31 this year that the Home Board had recommended a proposal by BOQ to merge the two companies.
Mr Howarth’s BOQ Board appointment is subject to the transaction proceeding and would take effect only after the proposed scheme of arrangement is approved and implemented.
“I know the merged group, should the transaction proceed, will benefit greatly from Tony’s extensive experience of the finance sector, and his specific knowledge of the Home business,” Mr Roberts said.
“As a banker Tony brings a great understanding of the industry, as a Director he will bring extensive Board experience and as a West Australian he also has a genuine understanding of that State which will be important as we move forward with the friendly merger of the two companies,” he said.
Mr Howarth has 30 years’ experience in the banking and finance industry including former positions as Managing Director of Challenge Bank and CEO of Hartleys Limited. He is currently chairman of Mermaid Marine Australia Limited and a director of Wesfarmers Limited and AWB Limited. He is also extensively involved in the Western Australian Community being Chairman of the Committee for Perth, St John of God Health Care Group and a director of the Rio-Tinto WA Future Fund, Western Australian Community Foundation and a Past President of the Western Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Mr Howarth said that, should the merger proceed, he looked forward to joining the high-performing BOQ Board.
“I think this is a very exciting time for Bank of Queensland and for Home and I look forward to continuing an active role in the merged group’s future expansion in Western Australia and helping to ensure future benefits for its shareholders, staff and customers,” he said.
Under Bank of Queensland and Home’s merger proposal, to be implemented via a scheme of arrangement, Home shareholders will receive 0.844 new BOQ shares and $2.80 cash for each Home share they own.
The Proposal represents a total consideration of $18.20 per Home share and a substantial premium of 29% based on Home’s and BOQ’s share prices of $14.11 and $18.25 respectively at the close of the ASX on the day prior to the announcement, Thursday, August 30 2007. Under the merger agreement, Home shareholders will own approximately 20% of the expanded group.
BOQ is Australia’s fastest growing regional bank with more than 240 branches, 13 business banking centres and 2300 BOQ-branded ATMs throughout every State and Territory in Australia. In the last five years, it has more than doubled its branch numbers, its assets under management have more than trebled to almost $20 billion while its market capitalisation has grown from approximately $400 million to $2 billion. BOQ has won Best Regional Bank in the AB&F Banking and Finance Awards twice in the last five years and is recognised as one of the highest customer service banks in the country.
Home Building Society
Home Building Society was formed as a mutual society in 1946 and was subsequently listed on the ASX in March 2002. In July 2006, Home and StateWest Financial Services Ltd completed a merger by way of a scheme of arrangement. Today, Home is one of the largest, listed financial services groups in Western Australia with a $2.4 billion loan portfolio, $2.1 billion in total customer deposits, more than 126,000 customers and 29 branches throughout Western Australia.