Westpac will have to wait for another buyer or contemplate selling off individual assets after Charter Hall walked away from a deal to buy Hastings Management.
Hastings, an investment firm which the bank owns in its entirety, holds around $14.3bn in infrastructure projects and would have merged with Charter Hall to make a $33bn-plus company. However, it appeared that not all investors were on board with the sale, so both parties agreed to proceed no further.
Westpac was quick to assure Hastings’ clients that it was still committed to the company, although it is now weighing up what to do next.
Westpac bought the first 51% of Hastings in 2002 for $36mn, and was rumoured to be looking for $500mn from Charter Hall, despite analysts thinking this was an ambitious target.
Hastings Management primarily invests in large infrastructure projects including, toll roads, airports and seaports. It also has interests as far away as the UK, where it has interest in Northern Ireland’s Phoenix Natural Gas.
The firm also holds a stake in New South Wales’s electrical grid, and recently acquired the state’s land registry organisation.