December 11, 2006
MFS to Buy Investment Specialists Northplan
Investment and financial services group MFS Limited (ASX: MFS) today announced it had contracted to acquire Northplan,
one of New Zealand’s largest financial advisory firms for NZ$52.5million.
Northplan provides professional and independent investment, estate planning and financial advice to more than 3,400 New
Zealand clients. Operating out of nine offices in the North Island of New Zealand, Northplan’s clients are typically
high net worth individuals who have sold a property, farm or business, received an inheritance or are high income
Northplan directly has funds under management and under advice of circa NZ$670million. The company also provides back
office and portfolio services to a number of financial advisory groups across New Zealand. Northplan holds strategic
stakes in these advisory groups, which have a combined funds under management and under advice of more than
NZ$330million, and advise in excess of 1500 clients.
Consideration for the acquisition will comprise circa NZ$42.5million in cash, with the balance to be satisfied through
the issue of MFS Limited shares to some of the vendors, including key management shareholders and Northplan founder
The acquisition follows MFS’ announcement in June 2006 that it had agreed to sell 60 per cent of its New Zealand
operations to a group of financial investors in both Australia and New Zealand, including a subsidiary of the Babcock & Brown Group.
At that time MFS indicated an intention to grow MFS New Zealand so as to become a substantial player in the New Zealand
financial services sector, including businesses operating in the funds management, financial planning, investment
banking and property structured finance sectors.
MFS New Zealand Chief Executive, Jason Maywald, confirmed that Northplan would ultimately be merged with MFS’ existing
New Zealand businesses, which have been operating in New Zealand since 2003. Mr Maywald said the acquisition of
Northplan was a significant step in MFS’ expansion plans in New Zealand and was the first in a series of transactions
that would see MFS become an influential force in New Zealand financial services.
“We are very excited by this opportunity which will not only allow for the enhancement and acceleration of Northplan’s
own expansion plans,” said Mr Maywald, “but will also provide MFS with the platform for the creation of a significant
New Zealand financial services provider.”
Northplan was established in 1989 by Kelvin Syms and under his direction it has grown to become one of New Zealand’s
largest and most successful financial advisory firms. Mr Syms will remain actively involved in the business and will be
appointed as the Managing Director of MFS New Zealand. Members of Northplan’s highly regarded executive team will also
be appointed to new roles within MFS New Zealand.
“We recognised there was an opportunity to significantly expand the Northplan business,” said Mr Syms, “and to be able
to do so with the support of MFS will provide our clients and staff with enormous benefits, whilst still retaining our
ability to offer our clients the high levels of good old-fashioned service they expect from us.”
Completion of the acquisition is planned to occur by 31 January 2007.
MFS Limited is a diversified financial services and investment company and is listed in the top 200 companies on the
_Australian stock exchange. It has interests in funds management, investment, structured finance, and tourism. MFS has
approximately $A3.9billion ($NZ4.5billion) worth of assets under management. For more information see
About MFS New Zealand
MFS Limited owns 40% of the shares in MFS New Zealand, and maintains management control of that business. MFS New
Zealand has circa $420 million of assets under management. MFS New Zealand is made up of a number of specialty
investment businesses, the most significant being MFS Pacific Finance Limited. For more information see
Northplan is one of New Zealand’s premier independent financial advisory groups with more than $670million of client
funds under management and under advice. A one stop investment shop committed to professional, unbiased investment
advice and offering access to the best financial products and product providers in New Zealand and internationally.