Wells Fargo to sell corporate trust business to Australia's Computershare for $750 million

(Reuters) -Wells Fargo will sell its corporate trust business to Australia’s Computershare Ltd for $750 million, the two companies said on Wednesday, as the Wall Street lender shifts its focus to core operations.

As part of the deal terms, about 2,000 employees of Wells Fargo’s Corporate Trust Services (CTS) business will be transferred to Computershare, which offers investor services such as share registry.

“This transaction is consistent with Wells Fargo’s strategy of focusing on businesses that are core to our consumer and corporate clients,” said David Marks, head of commercial capital.

Wells Fargo’s CTS operation provides trust and agency services for debt securities issued by public and private corporations, government entities and others.

To help fund the deal, Melbourne-based Computershare announced a A$835 million ($637.11 million) entitlement offer. The company expects the deal to add to its earnings per share by at least 15% on a full-year 2021 pro forma basis.

Wells Fargo’s CTS is also expected to generate a return of more than 15% on invested capital by fiscal 2025, Computershare said.

“It is a clear fit with our successful Canadian corporate trust operations and existing U.S. operations,” Computershare Chief Executive Stuart Irving said.

“CTS provides scale with a top four market position, a platform for ongoing growth and increased leverage to long term growth trends and interest rates.”

The Australian company also expects to save $80 million, pre-tax annually over five years after the completion of the deal.

($1 = 1.3106 Australian dollars)

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