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Bank of Queensland to expand home state presence

Australian lender Bank of Queensland has cemented a deal to acquire rival Pioneer Permanent Building Society in a move designed to strengthen its standing in its home territory.

Bank of Queensland has agreed to pay $38 million to absorb its smaller state opposition. Reuters said the cash and shares offer equated to a 3 cents per share premium on Pioneer Permanent Building Society’s market value.

Following the integration, Bank of Queensland will benefit from an expanded branch network, a larger customer base and enhanced earnings from 2007 onwards, the firm’s chairman Neil Roberts said.

Managing director David Liddy added that the combination of Bank of Queensland with Pioneer would create a powerful presence in one of Australia’s fastest growing regions – central and northern Queensland.