Commonwealth Bank has completed the sale of advisory business Count Financial to CountPlus, marking a milestone in the bank’s withdrawal from its aligned advice businesses.
CountPlus is paying $2.5 million for the business, which it sold to CBA for $370 million eight years ago.
The sale price represents a significant discount to net tangible assets. According to CountPlus, the Count Financial balance sheet has net assets of $15 million, no debt and cash of $12 million.
CBA says Count Financial made a loss of $13 million in 2018/19.
CBA has a 35.9 per cent holding in CountPlus – an ASX-listed company. When the Count Financial sale was announced in June, CBA said it planned to sell that stake once the transaction was completed. No update was provided yesterday.
CBA has agreed to give CountPlus a A$200 million indemnity against claims for misconduct for four years.
CBA has said it would continue to support and manage customer remediation arising from past misconduct at Count Financial after the completion of the transaction.
CountPlus will hold 85 per cent of Count Financial and the balance would be held by a discretionary trust established for the benefit of Count member firms. Count Financial has 359 financial advisers in 160 firms, and $8.1 billion of funds under administration.
When the deal was first announced, CountPlus chief executive Matthew Rowe said: “This is a truly transformational event. It moves CountPlus into a clear leadership position within the converged accounting and financial planning advice market in Australia.
“We have identified and will meet a growing need for quality advice in our chosen markets, especially servicing demand from the small-to-medium enterprise and business owner market.