AssetCo has acquired Edinburgh-based Saracen Fund Managers, subject to FCA approval. Nearly 167,000 new ordinary shares have been issued as part of the transaction, and £665,000 is due on completion. Meanwhile, the total transaction is worth £2.75m.
Martin Gilbert and Peter McKellar, chairman and CEO respectively, will join the board of Saracen.
Mr McKellar commented:
“Saracen is a small fund management firm with great potential. Its business model, people and product offering are its key assets and are an especially ideal fit for AssetCo. So I’m looking forward to working with Graham and the team.
“Our focus will be on building on Saracen’s strong foundations, particularly the experience and expertise of its management team and their investment approach.
“We aim to grow the business through marketing its existing funds and over time broadening its product range to continue to meet the needs of customers.”
Mr McKellar indicated that the acquisition was part of AssetCo’s wider M&A strategy in response to market changes:
“The industry is contending with multiple structural shifts. For example, demographics, fee compression and a greater focus on ESG. These are presenting challenges and opportunities for incumbent firms and we believe we can capitalise on this to help unlock value and to deliver for clients and investors.”
Similarly, Saracen’s press release referred to the complications surrounding company size:
“It has become increasingly difficult for smaller boutiques to gain traction with larger managers. With the backing of AssetCo, Saracen will be able to increase research capacity, distribution capabilities and fund offerings. This deal promotes continuity of all staff and no change to our philosophy and process for our funds.”
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