Aberdeen Asset Management said Thursday it has agreed to acquire Artio Global Investor Inc. (ART) for about $175 million in cash, or $2.75 per share. Artio manages $14.3 billion for retail and institutional clients in fixed income ($9.8 billion) and in international and global equities ($4.5 billion); $7.2 billion of Artio’s AUM is in mutual funds.
Artio’s stock was trading at $2.72 per share in midafternoon trading Thursday, up $0.67 for the day, or 32%; last Feb. 21, ART hit its 52-week high of $5.25. In addition to the Artio acquisition, Aberdeen also announced it was buying a 51% stake in SVG Advisers, a unit of SVG Capital plc, an international private equity and fund management investment firm. Both Aberdeen and SVG Capital are publicly traded on the London Stock Exchange.
Aberdeen said the acquisition is expected to close by the end of Q2 or early in Q3 of this year, subject to customary closing conditions, though it also reported that three of Artio‘s largest shareholders, who control 45% of the total shares outstanding, have already signed voting agreements in favor of the deal.
In a statement, Aberdeen said the Artio acquisition will expand its North American business by deepening its distribution network in both the broker-dealer and RIA channels and add “significant scale” to its existing fixed income business, notably through Artio’s global high-yield and U.S. total return products.
Moreover, the company said the deal is “consistent with Aberdeen’s stated strategy to identify suitable, quality businesses” designed to complement the company’s organic growth, and said it will be “earnings enhancing from the outset.”
These two are just the latest in a string of acquisitions made by U.K.-based Aberdeen, which manages $314 billion worldwide (as proof of its international footprint, it conveniently lists its AUM on the corporate website in pounds sterling, euros and U.S. dollars). Its U.S. operation—Aberdeen Asset Management Inc.—is based in Philadelphia, offering open-end and closed-end mutual funds and asset allocation products through advisors, and is headed by CEO Gary Marshall (left).