F&C is poised to buy Austrian C-Quadrat

UK FUND manager F&C Asset Management is poised for a takeover of Austrian rival C-Quadrat, as its annual results for 2009 are published today.

F&C announced yesterday that it could offer around £11.33 per share for the Austrian asset manager, adding that any offer would be dependant on C-Quadrat’s founders Alexander Schütz and Thomas Rie remaining involved in the management of the company.

The Austrian Takeover Commision waived an earlier restriction on Monday that would have made F&C subject to a 12-month exclusion period, after it missed a deadline to submit offer documents.

Although F&C Asset Management has said it plans to make an offer, no date has been set to finalise the deal.

The speculative offer values C-Quadrat at around £49.4m.

Shore Capital analysts said that although the potential acquisition is relatively small, it would give F&C some presence in Eastern Europe. They said the £11.33 a share offer compares with recent speculation that it could be as high as £12.30, valuing the company at around £53.46m. Shore has a “hold” rating on the stock.

F&C announced last December that is was in exploratory talks with C-Quadrat.

C-Quadrat is an independent asset manager operating across Europe. Founded in 1991, the company is listed in the Prime Standard of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and the Vienna Stock Exchange and the C-Quadrat KAG division currently manages more than €2.6bn (£2.36bn) in assets.

F&C’s shares closed 1.5 per cent higher at 63.4p. They’ve fallen 17 per cent since the start of the year.