M and A

Liontrust Shareholders Approve GAM Acquisition

Editorial Staff 10 July 2023

Liontrust Shareholders Approve GAM Acquisition

The proposed takeover by the UK firm of the Zurich-listed business moved a step closer last Friday.

London-listed Liontrust Asset Management said last Friday that its shareholders had green-lighted its proposed purchase of Switzerland-based GAM Holding.

As stated in its initial statement on the proposed deal in early May, Liontrust will pay for the deal by issuing 9.4 million new ordinary shares. It said that it expects GAM shareholders will own about 12.6 per cent of the enlarged firm once the deal is wrapped up. 

At a meeting, 84 per cent of shareholders voting were in favour of the proposed acquisition, Liontrust said. 

The transaction came after what had been a tough time for Zurich-listed GAM. GAM has been battling to recover its fortunes since Tim Haywood, who managed the ARBF business, was suspended in 2018 amid claims of misconduct (he was subsequently dismissed). Clients pulled money out of the firm. GAM has also seen its fortunes affected by the selloff in global markets during 2022.

Not all investors involved in the firms are happy about the Liontrust takeover. As reported here, a group of investors in GAM asked it to consider firing its board and make other changes.

“We have made a good and fair offer for GAM and believe it is in the best interests of the shareholders of both companies, as well as clients and employees, by providing a great platform for growth along with corporate and financial stability for GAM,” John Ions, chief executive of Liontrust, said.

“The senior investment managers at GAM have previously publicly stated they support the Liontrust acquisition and now we have the declared support of Liontrust shareholders. We thank both for their confidence in us and the proposed acquisition,” he continued. “This follows the announcement by GAM that they have entered into agreements with Carne Group to sell its third-party fund management services business, providing more certainty for all stakeholders.”

Ions said the combined group will use Zurich as its European HQ.

David Jacob, chairman of GAM, said: “The GAM board unanimously recommends the offer which was made after extensive due diligence by a highly regarded peer with a heritage in fund management. The enlarged business will have a strong balance sheet, a broader array of excellent investment products, a global distribution footprint and the capability to deliver synergies and growth, in which GAM shareholders can participate in the future.”

The offer period started on 28 June 2023 and is expected to conclude on 25 July 2023, GAM said, with the current GAM board of directors and group management board agreeing to tender their shares, it added. 

Register for WealthBriefing today

Gain access to regular and exclusive research on the global wealth management sector along with the opportunity to attend industry events such as exclusive invites to Breakfast Briefings and Summits in the major wealth management centres and industry leading awards programmes