Thursday, 14 December 2017 10:20

MYOB, Reckon merger under scrutiny by NZ’s competition regulator

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New Zealand's competition regulator is considering whether to give the go ahead to the proposed merger between accounting software solutions companies MYOB and Reckon.

The ASX-listed MYOB, one of Australia’s largest accounting software players, is seeking New Zealand clearance to acquire the accountants group business of Reckon which provides accounting, tax, and other software to accounting practices under the Reckon APS brand in New Zealand.

The New Zealand transaction is part of a trans-Tasman deal – covering the Australian and New Zealand markets - which would see MYOB acquire all assets under Reckon's Accountants Practice Management, while Reckon will retain its Business and Legal Practice Management divisions.

MYOB announced last month it is acquiring Reckon’s operation in Australia and New Zealand for A$180 million, subject to regulatory approval, including Reckon APS, Reckon Elite and Reckon Docs.

The specific assets to be acquired include Reckon APS, Reckon Elite and Reckon Docs which combine to provide accounting, tax compliance and related software to more than 4,000 accounting practices in Australia and New Zealand.

The Commerce Commission issued a statement on Thursday of preliminary issues relating to MYOB Group’s proposed acquisition but made no further comment on the deal.

The Commission does say it will give clearance to a proposed merger only if it is satisfied that the merger is unlikely to have the effect of substantially lessening competition in the New Zealand market. It is seeking public submissions on the proposed merger with a closing date of 12 January 2018

MYOB CEO Tim Reed said the acquisition was a significant move for the business, strengthening focus on the critical adviser audience.

“The Reckon board, management and staff have built a strong business around advisers, the most important providers of recommendations of business solutions for small and medium enterprises (SMEs).”

“At MYOB, we believe the future of the accounting industry is an exciting one; we refer to it as our Connected Practice vision. In this future, we believe advisers will become even more important in the lives of their SME clients than they are today.”

According to Reed, the acquisition of Reckon brings the company “closer to the delivery of our Connected Practice vision, which will see advisers and SMEs working seamlessly through a single platform enabling real-time collaboration and improved outcomes, including cost and time efficiencies”.

Reed said that, as in previous acquisitions, including BankLink in 2013, Greentree in 2016 and Paycorp this year, the Reckon business will be wholly integrated within MYOB, including all 120-plus employees currently based throughout Australia and New Zealand.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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