ANZ shares higher on 'significant' $4.9b Suncorp Bank acquisition approval

The big four bank is a step closer to sealing its deal.

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ANZ Group Holdings Ltd (ASX: ANZ) shares are pushing higher on Friday morning.

At the time of writing, the banking giant's shares are up 0.5% to $28.42.

Why are ANZ shares rising?

The big four bank's shares are rising on Friday after its proposed acquisition of the Suncorp Group Ltd (ASX: SUN) banking operations took a giant step towards completion.

This morning, ANZ announced that the Federal Treasurer has approved the proposed acquisition of Suncorp Bank under the Financial Sector (Shareholdings) Act 1998 (FSSA). This is subject to a number of conditions, which are normal for FSSA approvals for bank acquisitions.

One is that ANZ will maintain its and Suncorp Bank's regional branch numbers throughout Australia for three years.

There will also be no net job losses in Australia as a direct result of the acquisition for three years. ANZ notes that these conditions are consistent with its plans for integrating Suncorp Bank and its customers.

It must also continue its ongoing best efforts to reach an agreement with Australia Post, on a commercial basis, to offer Bank@Post services to its customers.

Management notes that these conditions are not anticipated to impact the benefits expected to flow from the acquisition. Furthermore, ANZ has worked with Suncorp to agree to contribute towards the impact of additional approval related imposts. This has seen Suncorp Group agree to waive its brand licensing fee and contribute to some additional integration costs.

'A significant milestone'

ANZ's CEO, Shayne Elliott, was very pleased with the Federal Treasurer's approval. He said:

This is a significant milestone in our plans to expand our presence in Queensland and bring the best of ANZ to Suncorp Bank customers. Queensland is thriving. With strong economic growth, high workforce participation and more interstate migration than any other state or territory, we're excited about the opportunities Queensland presents for ANZ and our customers.

We are another step closer to welcoming Suncorp Bank customers into the ANZ Group. Suncorp Bank customers will continue to receive the same great service, from the same exceptional Suncorp Bank staff. Over time, we'll make available to them ANZ's leading technology, giving them access to the very latest in banking services.

Today's approval follows the decision of the Australian Competition Tribunal to authorise the proposed acquisition on 20 February 2024, and passage of the State Financial Institutions and Metway Merger Amendment Bill in the Queensland Parliament on 14 June 2024.

Completion of the acquisition remains subject to the commencement of the Queensland State Financial Institutions and Metway Merger Amendment Act. If all goes to plan, ANZ expects the acquisition to complete at the end of July.

ANZ shares are up more than 20% over the last 12 months.

Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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