Blackstone’s AMA acquisition off

Blackstone’s planned $508m deal to buy the 113 collision repair centres owned by ASX-listed AMA Group has been blocked by the Australian tax office.

AMA Group Ltd received a formal response from the Deputy Commissioner of Taxation refusing AMA’s request for a Ruling for Demerger Relief. This ruling was required in order to undertake the Demerger Scheme of Arrangement and Acquisition Scheme of Arrangement as proposed in April.

Blackstone has been informed that the demerger will therefore not proceed and the proposed transaction with Blackstone will proceed no further.

In a statement, the AMA Board said it was ‘disappointed that the Deputy Commissioner of Taxation has taken a different view as to the requirements for demerger relief as compared with previous transactions, particularly given the advice the Board received from its advisors that demerger relief would be granted.’

The AMA Board also advised that despite the distractions of the transaction, the business has continued to perform strongly and is still on target with plans.