Fund deal

Gilbert’s AssetCo seals £99m acquisition of R&M

Martin Gilbert
Martin Gilbert: deal-maker

Martin Gilbert’s consolidation vehicle AssetCo has agreed an all-share acquisition of River and Mercantile (R&M) in a deal worth £98.8 million.

Based on the closing price of 1550p per AssetCo Share on 24 January the acquisition values each RMG Share at 114.6p.

The terms were contingent on the previously agreed sale of R&M’s fiduciary business to Schroders, for £230m. Taken together, the acquisition and return of capital value each RMG Share at 334.9p and RMG’s entire issued and to be issued ordinary share capital at approximately £289m.

It is the largest and most significant deal secured by AssetCo in its first year since chairman Mr Gilbert put a new team in place, including former Standard Life Aberdeen colleagues. Among last year’s deals was the acquisition of Saracen Fund Managers in Edinburgh.

In a statement, AssetCo said: “The AssetCo board believes that there is a strong strategic and financial rationale for the acquisition and that a combined RMG/AssetCo business is consistent with AssetCo’s strategy to be market leading in its chosen best-in-class investment strategies.’

R&M boss James Barham said: “This transaction secures continuity of the environment and investment culture that has been a critical factor to the success of the business and provides stability and support as the business continues to invest for the future.

Under the terms of the deal R&M shareholders will receive 0.07392 New AssetCo shares in exchange for each RMG share.

The deadline for reaching a deal was extended twice as AssetCo was initially drawn into a bid battle with Premier Miton until the latter pulled out earlier this month.

AssetCo was always favourite, given that it already owned a 5.8% stake in R&M and Mr Gilbert is deputy chairman.

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