Veteran fund boss Martin Gilbert seals comeback with takeover of asset manager River and Mercantile Group
Fund management veteran Martin Gilbert has struck a deal to take over asset manager River and Mercantile Group.
The man who set up Aberdeen Asset Management and oversaw its merger with Standard Life, has agreed to buy River through his investment vehicle Assetco.
Gilbert, 66, is chairman of Assetco, a former shell company he and colleagues from Aberdeen Asset Management have used to buy stakes in businesses in the wealth management sectors.
Fund management veteran Martin Gilbert has agreed to buy asset manager River and Mercantile Group through his investment vehicle Assetco
He led Aberdeen through its merger with rival Standard Life in 2017, creating the company that is now Abrdn, before leaving in 2020. Gilbert also currently sits on the River board as deputy chairman.
The deal will see investors receive 0.073 Assetco shares for each River share they hold – valuing it at £99million.
River shareholders will also receive £190million in cash from the sale of the company’s solutions business to rival Schroders which was agreed in October.
The proceeds of the sale take the value of the entire deal to £289million.
Following the merger, expected to complete in the second quarter of this year, River investors will own over 40 per cent of the combined group.
he tie-up is now subject to shareholder approval. River chairman Jonathan Dawson added that the merger offered ‘good value to shareholders’, and encouraged investors to back the deal.
Assetco was left as the front-runner after rival bidder Premier Miton pulled out this month.
At the time, Premier Miton boss Mike O’Shea said a tie-up had ‘insufficient commercial merits’.