Commonwealth Savings Bank of Australia

Baker McKenzie and Herbert Smith Freehills have the lead roles on a $2.9 billion deal that will see Japanese bank Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. (MUFG) acquire the global asset management business from the Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking Corp., the trust arm of MUFG, has agreed to acquire Commonwealth Bank of Australia’s Colonial First State Global Asset Management, which has about $160 billion in assets under management. Colonial First State is the third-largest asset management firm investing in Asian markets, excluding Japan, according to a statement by MUFG.

The transaction is expected to be completed in mid-2019, subject to regulatory approvals.

Baker McKenzie mergers and acquisitions partners Ben McLaughlin and Tetsuo Tsujimoto and regulatory partners Toshio Shimada and Masato Honma, all in Tokyo, are advising Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking Corp.

Sullivan & Cromwell corporate partners Rodgin Cohen, Donald Toumey and Donald Crawshaw in New York and Keiji Hatano in Tokyo are also advising the acquirer.

Herbert Smith Freehills Sydney partner Tony Damian is leading a team advising the Commonwealth Bank. He is supported by funds partner Robert Bileckij and employment partner Michael Gonski, both also in Sydney.

Davis Polk & Wardwell corporate partners Byron Rooney, Phillip Mills and Gregory Rowland and tax partner Michael Mollerus, all in New York, are also representing the Commonwealth Bank.

Indian firm Khaitan & Co is advising Commonwealth Bank of Australia on Indian regulatory matters. Delhi partner Mayank Singh is leading the Khaitan team.

The sale of Colonial First State comes as the Commonwealth Bank of Australia became an investigation subject in a regulatory crackdown on Australia’s financial sector, which found dozens of financial services providers, including the Australian bank, guilty of misconduct.

Australian wealth management firm AMP Ltd., which, according to Reuters is the worst hit by the misconduct inquiry, recently sold its Australia and New Zealand life insurance division to London-based Resolution Life Group Holdings for $2.3 billion.

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