F&C shares jump on £708m sale to Canada's BMO

F&C Asset Management, one of Britain’s oldest investment companies, has confirmed the clinching of a deal with Canada’s Bank of Montreal (BMO), which has acquired it for £708m.

It's hoped that the agreement will bring some calm to F&C, which has seen a turbulent last few years. Shares are currently trading up four per cent on the news.

From its statement today:

BMO represents a unique opportunity to broaden and accelerate our ambitions. The products, geographic presence and cultures of both organisations are truly complementary and with BMO's commitment to growth, this is clearly a very positive outcome for both our clients and employees. We look forward to joining the BMO organisation.

The deal will see shareholders receive 120p per share in cash, as well as an additional dividend of 2p per share.

In 2004, F&C became Britain’s fourth-largest investment firm with £120bn of funds under management.

Its stock price reached 250p – over double the 120p now being offered by BMO.

But waning investment performance and fund losses meant the heyday didn’t last. In 2011, activist investor Ed Bramson took control of the company, before selling his stake and leaving last year.