Goldman Sachs strikes €1.6bn deal for NN Investment Partners

Goldman Sachs has struck a €1.6bn deal to acquire the asset management arm of Dutch insurer NN Group, marking the latest deal in a sector which is experiencing rapid consolidation.

NN Group announced in April that it was “reviewing strategic options” for its fund management arm, which oversees around €355bn of assets under management across fixed income, private debt, equity and multi-asset solutions.

The deal, expected to close by the end of the first quarter next year, will see NN Group and Goldman Sachs Asset Management enter into a 10-year strategic partnership, under which the combined company will continue to provide asset management services to NN Group.

Following the tie-up, the Netherlands will also become a significant continental European location for GSAM, which oversees assets of more than $2tn globally. NN Investment Partners staff with join GSAM once the deal has closed.

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David Solomon, chief executive of Goldman Sachs, said the acquisition will allow the US firm to “accelerate our growth strategy and broaden our asset management platform”.

“NN Investment Partners offers a leading European client franchise and an extension of our strength in insurance asset management,” he added.

David Knibbe, CEO of NN Group, added: “This transaction brings together two international asset managers, each with many decades of investment experience.

“We have found a strong and professional partner in Goldman Sachs, providing an environment in which our NN IP colleagues can continue to thrive, while the combined investment expertise and scale will enhance the service offering to NN IP’s clients, including NN Group.”

Goldman Sachs fended off a handful of other asset managers that were vying for NN IP, with the Financial Times reporting UBS Asset Management, Janus Henderson and US insurer Prudential Financial were among those circling the business.

Goldman Sachs bankers are handling the deal with legal advice from Sullivan & Cromwell and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. JPMorgan is acting as financial adviser to NN Group with De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek providing legal advice.

The deal comes amid a flurry of fund management M&A since the start of the year, including Amundi’s purchase of Lyxor for €825m — a transaction which will give Amundi a coveted spot as Europe’s second-largest exchange traded funds provider.

In May, the deal-making company set up by former Standard Life Aberdeen co-chief executive Martin Gilbert made its first outright acquisition, agreeing to buy Saracen Fund Managers for £2.8m.

This year AssetCo has also purchased stakes in River & Mercantile, as well as thematic ETF firm Rize.

Elsewhere Ameriprise Financial, the parent company of Columbia Threadneedle, announced in April it had acquired the European asset management business of BMO Financial Group for £615m. The deal will add more than $120bn to the amount of money Columbia Threadneedle oversees in the region.

To contact the author of this story with feedback or news, email David Ricketts

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