F&C Asset Management, the London fund manager, has officially made an offer for Austria’s C-Quadrat.
The offer, submitted to the Austrian Takeover Commission, stands at €12.50 (£11.20) per share – valuing C-Quadrat at €54.5m overall.
It is understood C-Quadrat founders Alexander Schultz and Thomas Reiss intend to keep a stake in the fund business.
The takeover would give F&C Asset Management a greater presence in Central Europe and it said the deal was part of the company’s strategy to “buy specialist businesses to do things we currently don’t.”
F&C plans to expand via acquisitions and said it would look at further deals on top of its takeover of C-Quadrat.
If the deal goes through, F&C’s ownership will enable C-Quadrat to develop into the British markets or the US. Leo Willert, head of trading at C-Quadrat subsidiary ARTS said: “We are really looking forward to this. The fantasy is that we could get into new markets and trade new universes.”
Under current legislation EU-regulated funds cannot invest in the UK’s open-ended investment companies and unit trusts and US funds.
“We could start with a UK open-ended investment company and deal with these … or go to America and build a trust there and trade the ‘no-load, no-transaction fee’ funds there. I think we have 1,500 of these no transaction fee funds in our database," Willert added.
C-Quadrat is principally focused on investors in Austria and Germany, with some funds registered in Hungary, Slovakia, Poland and the Czech Republic, the latter countries mostly with savings plans than lump sums.