The ASX’s biggest buy-now, pay-later player is getting close to merging, or being taken over, by Block (formerly called Square).
It has been a long time coming.
When takeovers are announced, particularly ones involving global businesses, it requires a number of different approvals from regulators, shareholders, boards and so on.
The Bank of Spain took its time in approving the transaction. It had that power because Afterpay has a small presence in the country.
However, the Bank of Spain has now approved the acquisition and the takeover is fully unconditional. It has already received shareholder approval from both Afterpay and Block shareholders, as well as all the necessary court approvals and so on.
The Afterpay Chair Elana Rubin said:
“Afterpay, its leadership and team have shown that groundbreaking fintech innovation built in Australia can reach global proportions. The team are incredibly excited at the prospect of beginning an extraordinary next phase with Block Inc and look forward to the implementation on 1 February 2022.
“On behalf of the board and management, thank you to our shareholders, customers, merchants, broader stakeholders and regulators, for recognising the potential of this incredible company and for sharing in the vision of fairness and financial freedom for all.”
When is the Afterpay and Block merger happening?
According to the updated timetable, Afterpay shares will be suspended from trading on 19 January 2022. This is the last day that Afterpay shares will trade on the ASX.
Commencement of trading new Block CHESS depository interests (CDIs) on the ASX under the symbol SQ2 will occur on 20 January 2022 on a deferred settlement basis.
The implementation date is 1 February 2022, as mentioned by the Afterpay chair, when shareholders will be provided with the Block CDIs to which they are entitled.
On 2 February 2022, normal trading on the ASX will begin for those new shares, holding statements or confirmation advice for the new Block CDIs will be dispatched, and commencement of trading of new Block shares on the New York Stock Exchange will also occur.
My thoughts on the Afterpay share price and the deal
I’d be happy as an Afterpay shareholder to know that the merger is almost ready. I think Afterpay shareholders have a stronger future being part of Block than alone.
The Afterpay share price has dropped around 40% since the end of October 2021, which is a very similar decline to Block shares, which makes sense considering that’s the consideration that Afterpay shareholders will be receiving.
I’m not sure what a fair price for Block is, particularly once Afterpay is integrated. However, the market hasn’t seen this low a Square/Block price since 2020, so if investors have been wanting to buy it, then today it’s certainly cheaper than in the whole of 2021.
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