Finance

Afterpay delays vote on $29 bln buyout as Square awaits Spain's nod

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A smartphone is held in front of a displayed Afterpay logo in this illustration taken, August 2, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

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Dec 2 (Reuters) - Afterpay Ltd (APT.AX) will delay a shareholder meet to approve Square Inc's (SQ.N) $29-billion buyout of the Australian buy now, pay later leader, as the Jack Dorsey-led payment company awaits regulatory nod in Spain.

The investor meet was set for Dec. 6, but Afterpay said it would likely take place next year as Square, which has rebranded itself to Block Inc, is likely to get an approval from the Bank of Spain only in mid-January.

The delay is unlikely to impact the completion of Australia's biggest deal, which is set for the first quarter of 2022, Afterpay said.

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"We continue to believe the risks of the transaction closing are minimal," RBC Capital Markets analyst Chami Ratnapala said in a brief client note.

Meanwhile, Twitter Inc (TWTR.N) co-founder Dorsey is expected to focus on Square after stepping down as chief executive of the social media platform as it looks to expand beyond its payment business and into new technologies like blockchain.

Afterpay shares fell more than 6%, far underperforming the broader Australian market (.AXJO), tracking Square's 6.6% drop overnight in U.S. market on worries over the Omicron variant.

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Reporting by Nikhil Kurian, Sameer Manekar and Indranil Sarkar in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva, Rashmi Aich and Arun Koyyur

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