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Rating:For $145MM, a U.S. Growth Equity Shop Sells North of the Border Not Rated 0.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Tuesday, March 01, 2016

For $145MM, a U.S. Growth Equity Shop Sells North of the Border

Reported by Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

A publicly-traded Canadian asset manager is shelling out $145 million to buy a U.S. growth equity specialist in the Midwest.

Jean-Guy Desjardins
Fiera Capital
Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer
Jean-Guy Desjardins, chairman and CEO of Fiera Capital Corporation (FSZ on the Toronto exchange), confirms that the Montreal-based company has agreed to pay $88 million in cash and $57 million in stock (class A subordinate voting shares) for Dayton, Ohio-based Apex Capital Management. The deal is slated to close in April.

Employee-owned Apex had $7.1 billion in AUM as of December 31, so the $145-million price tag translates into about two percent of AUM. Fiera already has about CAD$100 billion (about $74 billion U.S.) in AUM. The deal also translates into about 25 percent of Fiera's $576.16-million market cap (as of market close yesterday), and Fiera will be using part of the proceeds of a new $125-million loan to finance the deal.

In addition to subadvisory and separate account work, Apex also offers a mutual fund: the two-star, $242.6-million APEXcm Small/Mid Cap Growth Fund which launched in the summer of 2012. That fund is PMed by Nitin Kumbhani, CEO, chief investment officer, and principal at Apex. Kumbhani founded Apex in 1987. Apex also subadvises the 18-year-old, four-star, $563.0-million Touchstone Small Cap Growth Fund. Watch for Apex's work with Touchstone to expand.

The deal follows Fiera's $33.5-million purchase last year of New York City-based fixed income shop Samson Capital Advisors. Ben Thompson, CEO of Samson, became president and CEO of Fiera's U.S. division.

"The acquisition of Apex is an important step in advancing our U.S. growth strategy by providing a meaningful complementary presence in the institutional and sub-advisory retail markets, small/mid cap (SMID), small cap and other growth strategies with a long track record of superior performance, and a proven team of investment professionals," Desjardins states.

"Apex's expertise and top-quartile performance greatly enhance our presence in the U.S. marketplace with limited distribution overlap," Thompson states. "This strategic acquisition adds complementary expertise to our platform and strengthens our ability to serve our clients across the U.S." 

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