As of 1 July 2021, REA Group is now the proud owner of Mortgage Choice Limited.
REB first reported that REA Group was in talks to take over the mortgage brokerage business back in March.
Early last month, shareholders of Mortgage Choice Limited voted in favour of the acquisition, which cleared one of the hurdles to the takeover taking place.
Since then, REA Group has received all of the permissions it needed to successfully complete the transaction, including from the Supreme Court of New South Wales, with the scheme of arrangement then implemented on 1 July 2021.
As a result, REA Financial Services Holding Co. Pty Ltd has acquired 100 per cent of the shares in Mortgage Limited. Representing an enterprise value of approximately $244 million, the scheme consideration was $1.95 per share.
In a statement to the ASX, REA Group CEO Owen Wilson said the completion of the acquisition “represents an exciting milestone for our combined businesses”.
It means REA Group now has “a significant national broker footprint”.
According to a statement, this footprint includes more than 940 brokers, more than 720 franchises, over 40 lending partners and a loan book over $84 billion.
Mr Wilson added that the “combination of our Smartline and Mortgage Choice businesses will allow REA to accelerate our financial services strategy”.
“We see considerable growth opportunities that will deliver increased value to our Smartline and Mortgage Choice broker network, clients and business partners,” he said.
“We look forward to providing Australians with even greater choice and flexibility when it comes to catering for all their home-financing needs.”
According to Smartline’s CEO, Sam Boer, the business will be able to create “an even stronger value proposition and market-leading position”, thanks to the incorporation of Mortgage Choice.
He said: “Bringing Mortgage Choice into the REA family will provide us with greater national broker coverage and strengthens our ability to help more Australians finance their next property.”
Susan Mitchell, the CEO of Mortgage Choice, has considered the move into the REA Group as an “opportunity to leverage REA’s vast consumer audience”.
“We look forward to evolving our combined service offerings to deliver superior value across all our stakeholder groups,” she said.
It was reported that the REA and Mortgage Choice management teams will work together over the coming months “to ensure a smooth transition and integration”.