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Report: Charter Hall in 'early talks' to buy Westpac's infrastructure manager

The Charter Hall Group is looking to buy Westpac Banking Corp.'s Hastings Funds Management, The Australian Financial Review's Street Talk reported, noting that the involved parties are now in "early stage talks" toward a possible transaction.

According to the June 13 report, the ongoing discussions are focused on finding "the right cultural fit and relationships," rather than the money. The AFR noted that Westpac is dedicated to ensuring that the management and clients of Hastings are completely on board with the sale.

The commitment comes after an auction that took place 18 months ago for the infrastructure investment arm failed to produce an acceptable bid, the report said.

Charter Hall's acquisition of Hastings, according to the AFR, would be in line with the group's goal to become an experienced manager of superannuation funds and "real assets."

The paper also indicated the move would be in keeping with the business strategy of other real estate funds manager such as QIC Ltd. and AMP Capital, which both have large infrastructure investment arms that complement real estate platforms.