M and A

Amundi Buys Kleinwort Benson Investors

Tom Burroughes Group Editor London 23 May 2016

Amundi Buys Kleinwort Benson Investors

The European asset management giant has bought a subsidiary of BHF Kleinwort Benson Group, continuing a run of industry M&A.

Amundi, the European asset management giant, has bought a majority stake in Kleinwort Benson Investors, a subsidiary of the BHF Kleinwort Benson group recently bought by Oddo & Cie.

Under terms of the transaction, Amundi will acquire 87.5 per cent of Dublin-headquartered KBI. The remaining 12.5 per cent of the firm will be acquired by its management, a statement from the firms said today.

The deal will be immediately accretive to Amundi’s earnings per share and comply with Amundi’s target of an expected return on investment superior to 10 per cent within three years, it said.

KBI has offices in Boston and New York as well as Ireland. It employs 62 people and has €7.6 billion ($8.53 billion) of assets (as of 31 March), mainly in global equities. Clients are spread between institutional, sub-advisory and third-party distributors. North American clients account for 52 per cent of AuM, while Ireland and UK account for 26 per cent, Continental Europe 14 per cent and Asia 8 per cent. Last year, it logged net revenues of €31 million and net income of €9 million.

“Amundi and KBI are highly complementary in terms of product and geographic focus. KBI’s global equities expertise will strongly augment Amundi’s equity franchise. Likewise, KBI will leverage Amundi’s strong retail and institutional presence in Europe, Asia and the Middle East,” the firms said.

KBI will retain its distribution, operating and portfolio management autonomy. Sean Hawkshaw will continue as chief executive and Noel O’Halloran as chief investment officer. All employees are expected to remain with the firm.

The transaction is subject to usual regulatory and client approvals, and is expected to close in the third quarter of 2016.

In March this year, Paris-listed Societe Generale agreed a share purchase agreement with Oddo & Cie to acquire all of Kleinwort Benson and Kleinwort Benson Channel Islands Holdings, BHF Kleinwort Benson Group's UK and Channel Islands wealth management business.


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