Henderson set for more M&A

 
City A.M. Reporter
ANGLO-AUSTRALIAN fund manager Henderson Global Investors said yesterday it was open to fresh acquisition opportunities, when announcing outflows accelerated in the second quarter on volatile markets and fragile confidence.

Henderson – which bought New Star last year – also said underlying first-half pre-tax profit rose 79 per cent to £48.5m ($65m). That compared with its own estimate of £47-£49m, given last month when it announced the end of talks to buy US boutique RidgeWorth from SunTrust.

Net outflows of client money were £1.3bn in the first half, after withdrawals of £600m in the first quarter. Analysts expected second-quarter outflows of £700m-£900m.

Chief executive Andrew Formica, asked about reports Henderson was considering a takeover of rival Gartmore said: “There are a number of interesting opportunities in the market place that we continue to keep an eye on and monitor.

“Some of these may lead to instances where we would look to having further discussions. At this point there is nothing I can comment on.”

Oriel Securities cut its rating on Henderson to “hold” from “add”, while Evolution Securities rated the stock a “reduce”, preferring rival Schroders. JP Morgan Cazenove gave a “neutral” rating, saying the interim results were solid. “It is currently performing in line with our expectations and so we see little scope for upgrades,” said Evolution.