​Federal Court approves AU$349m ASG acquisition

The Federal Court of Australia has approved the impending takeover of ASG Group by Nomura Research Institute.

IT management and consultancy firm ASG Group expects to be wholly acquired by Japan's Nomura Research Institute (NRI) before the year is out, after the Federal Court of Australia gave the nod to the arrangement on Monday.

Announced in September, NRI will pay approximately AU$349 million for 100 percent ownership of ASG.

ASG told shareholders on Monday that a copy of the court's order is to be lodged with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) by the end of the day, which will result in the acquisition scheme being legally effective.

As ASG is currently listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX), once ASIC receives the documentation, ASG shares will be suspended from trading.

The implementation date for the acquisition is expected to be December 23, 2016.

Speaking in September, ASG chief executive officer Geoff Lewis said he expects to stay on as CEO after the acquisition is finalised, and that ASG will also keep its name, at least for the medium term.

Previously, US giant Lockheed Martin discussed taking over ASG; however the deal never eventuated. Lewis said discussions with the defence company never went as far as those with NRI.

"It's nearly a dollar more," Lewis joked. "We've obviously been having conversations with a number of people ... This conversation has been going on for quite a while, but we're very happy with the outcome. This one has worked out well so we're very happy with the result."

For the 2016 financial year, ASG reported record results, posting a 16 percent increase in revenue to AU$188.7 million, and net profit after tax of AU$12 million, up 26.1 percent year-on-year. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation also grew 32 percent on the previous year to AU$26.7 million for the full year.

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