MONTREAL - Fiera Capital Corp. (TSX:FSZ) has announced two deals worth a combined US$156.3 million under which it is acquiring a prominent U.S. wealth management firm and a global asset manager.
Fiera says the deals for Los Angeles-based Bel Air Investment Advisors LLC and an affiliate as well as New York-based Wilkinson O'Grady & Co. Inc. are part of its strategy of expanding into U.S. markets.
Founded in 1997, Bel Air is focused on the ultra-high net worth segment of the private wealth market, with C$6.3 billion in assets under management and C$1.4 billion in consulting assets.
The company is being acquired for US$125 million, with a maximum of US$115 million in cash and the remaining US$10 million in the form of new Fiera class A subordinate voting shares issued over a 32-month period following closing.
Wilkinson O'Grady, founded in 1972, manages approximately C$2.2 billion for individuals, families, trusts, endowments, and foundations located around the world.
It is being purchased for US$31.25 million, including US$29.7 million in cash and US$1.6 million in Fiera class A shares.
"We are very proud to join forces with these two experienced and highly credible teams," Fiera chairman and CEO Jean-Guy Desjardins said.
"Increasing our assets under management by C$8.5 billion to approximately C$74 billion, these acquisitions enhance our North American footprint and add depth to our investment and servicing teams."
Desjardins said Fiera sees "tremendous growth potential" in the U.S. private wealth and investment management market.
"These transactions fit perfectly with our plan to create value by becoming a leading North American investment management firm within the next five years," he added.
The transactions, subject to customary conditions including applicable regulatory and stock exchange approvals, are expected to close by the end of October.
Concurrent with the transactions, Fiera announced a bought deal private placement with National Bank Financial Inc. and GMP Securities L.P. of some C$68.6 million of subscription receipts at a price of C$10.75 per receipt.
National Bank (TSX:NA) plans to exercise its right of anti-dilution to main its 35 per cent ownership of Fiera and will purchase about C$31.4 million of subscription receipts at the same prices, bring the total value of the private placements to just over C$100 million.
The underwriters also have an option to acquire additional subscription receipts worth some C$5.1 million.
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