$8 billion AUM
has been acquired for $625 million by
Financial advisor to Lighthouse Investment Partners
HFA Holdings to acquire Lighthouse Partners
July 24, 2007 - Australian fund manager HFA Holdings Ltd. (HFA.AX) said on Tuesday it will buy U.S. investment firm Lighthouse Partners for about A$707 million ($626 million), sending shares in HFA soaring more than 18 percent.
The purchase will more than double the size of HFA, cements a near decade-long relationship with Lighthouse funds in Australia and New Zealand, and is a rare example of an Asia Pacific money manager making acquisitions outside the region.
"A U.S.-based fund with a major U.S. bank shareholder selling out to an Australian listed manager of managers is quite an unexpected transaction," said BT Financial Group portfolio manager Jack Chemello.
More typically, international financial firms have bought into Asia. These include deals over the last 18 months by Swiss bank UBS UBSN.VX, ING Groep NV ING.AS (ING.N) and Credit Suisse CSGN.VX to acquire or take stakes in fund management businesses in Asia.
The HFA transaction is the largest merger or acquisition involving an Asia Pacific asset management firm announced this year among deals where the value has been disclosed, according to Dealogic.
The next largest was Aberdeen Asset Management Plc's (ADN.L) purchase of part of Deutsche Bank's (DBKGn.DE) Australian asset management operations for about $119 million in cash.
Lighthouse offers funds of hedge funds, with mainly institutional clients including companies, pension funds and university endowments, while HFA offers similar funds to retail investors.
Investors welcomed the deal and an upgrade by HFA of its earnings estimate. Its shares closed up 18.5 percent at A$2.75.