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Capita sold to Australian company in £888m deal

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CAPITA Asset Services in Castle Street, a division of the FTSE 100 company Capita plc, has been sold to Australian company Link Group.

The Island operation employs over 200 staff providing services to wealthy individuals and families and to corporate and fund clients.

The £888m deal, including offices in the UK, Ireland and Germany, is subject to regulatory approvals and is expected to complete before the end of the year.

Norma O'Sullivan, managing director of the Jersey business, said: 'It is business as usual for now as we continue to focus on providing an excellent service to our clients.

'This is an excellent strategic fit for us – it fully complements our existing business in terms of services, client base and professional staff while also providing us with the opportunity to further develop and strengthen our client proposition, with access to new jurisdictions.'

The Jersey operation has existed under various brand names for more than 60 years.

The original firm was founded in 1956 as the British Law and Executor Trustee Company and acquired by Capita in 2001.

The company has diversified over the years and added share registration, corporate and fund services, fund custody and employee solutions to the original private client services. Last year a representative office was opened in Dubai.

Sydney-headquartered Link Group, originally a share registry business within an accounting firm, has grown steadily and mainly by acquisition since 2005 and has been listed on the Australian Stock Exchange since 2015.

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The company employs 4,300 people globally and provides fund administration, corporate markets and information, digital and data services.

Commenting on Capita Asset Services, Link Group managing director John McMurtrie said: 'CAS is a business with strong market positions across its operating units, underpinned by long-standing customer relationships and an experienced management team. The business is highly complementary and represents an attractive platform for our company's further expansion into the UK and European markets.'

The Australian group has also gained from the weaker post-Brexit value of sterling. Mr McMurtrie added: 'While Link Group has been a market leader in Australia for a number of years and has had a presence in Europe, with the acquisition of CAS we can say that Link Group is now a truly international company with expanded opportunities for further growth.'

Existing shareholders will be offered the opportunity to buy four new shares for every 11 already held in in order to raise AUS$883m of funding, with the difference coming from a new £485m bank debt facility.

Capita plc has issued a series of profit warnings over the past 12 months and in a media statement said the sale would raise cash and ease debt.

Shares rose 2.7% following the news, with analysts upbeat about the price secured for the business.

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