Bank of Queensland (ASX:BOQ) share price lower despite ME Bank acquisition approval

This regional bank has been given the green light to acquire a rival…

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The Bank of Queensland Limited (ASX: BOQ) share price is trading lower today after broad market weakness offset the release of a positive announcement.

At the time of writing, the regional bank’s shares are down 2.5% to $9.00.

What did Bank of Queensland announce?

This morning Bank of Queensland announced that the Treasurer of the Commonwealth of Australia has provided it with approval to hold a controlling stake of 100% in Members Equity Bank (ME Bank).

This follows the company’s announcement in February, which revealed that it had entered into an agreement to acquire ME Bank for a cash consideration of $1.325 billion.

Positively, the approval of the acquisition by the Treasurer was the only condition precedent to completion of the transaction. As a result, completion is now expected to take place on 1 July 2021.

Bank of Queensland’s Chairman, Patrick Allaway, believes the acquisition will help the bank compete against the big four.

He said: “The acquisition of ME Bank is a key step in our strategy to be a compelling alternative to the big banks. It is a defining moment in the transformation of BOQ Group, which will benefit our shareholders, customers and people.”

This sentiment was echoed by the company’s Managing Director and CEO, George Frazis.

He commented: “The addition of ME Bank to the BOQ Group will further strengthen our multi-brand strategy, deliver material scale, broadly double the size of our Retail bank, and provide us with geographic diversification. We look forward to the ME Bank team formally joining the BOQ Group very soon.”

The release notes that prior to completion, Bank of Queensland and ME Bank will continue to operate as separate businesses with no immediate changes expected for customers of either business.

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