$2.8 billion AUM

Hedge Fund of Funds of

has been acquired by

has been acquired by

Financial advisor to Guggenheim Capital

Financial advisor to Guggenheim Capital

January 2006

Freeman & Co. Acted as Financial Advisor to Guggenheim Capital
January 2006
Asset Management
Sell-Side M&A

Bank of Ireland Group is to acquire 71.5 per cent of US fund of hedge funds manager Guggenheim Alternative Asset Management for USD 184 million

January 04, 2006  (New York, NY) - Guggenheim, which focuses on institutional and high net-worth clients, has circa USD 2.8 billion assets under management and is part of Guggenheim Partners, a leading private wealth and investment management firm.

The exact cash consideration will be determined based on Guggenheim Alternative Asset Management's business performance to 1 April 2006.

Guggenheim Alternative Asset Management's management will retain 11 per cent and Guggenheim Partners 17.5 per cent and these holdings are subject to put and call arrangements in the medium term on a pre-agreed basis. In the event of the exercise of these options, the consideration would be in the form of Bank of Ireland stock. The number of units to be delivered will be determined by the purchase cost and the prevailing Bank of Ireland stock price at that time. The transaction is expected to close at the end of January 2006, subject to regulatory approvals and other customary conditions.

A key component of Bank of Ireland's strategy is to grow its portfolio of niche, skill-based businesses internationally. The development of the Asset Management Services division is a core element of this. Its strategy is to build a diversified portfolio of discrete investment boutiques and to sell investment solutions through its established global sales and client service platform. Guggenheim Alternative Asset Management is a rapidly growing business in an attractive market segment and represents a further step in the implementation of this strategy. It brings a high quality team, solid investment performance and stringent risk controls and transparency features which will appeal to institutional investors.

"Our Asset Management Services division is an important part of our Group," says Brian Goggin, chief executive, Bank of Ireland Group. "Over the last decade, we have built a significant international distribution capability, which delivers investment solutions to institutional investors and their consultants. Our strategy is to harness this capability to provide an enhanced range of investment solutions in the future. The acquisition of Guggenheim Alternative Asset Management is a further step in this plan and will provide us with products and expertise in the alternative investment sector, which is an increasingly important segment of the investment market. We believe their sophisticated fund of hedge funds platform will be an attractive option for our institutional clients."