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Rating:Hennessy Buys a $640MM Pair of Funds Not Rated 1.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Monday, May 02, 2016

Hennessy Buys a $640MM Pair of Funds

Reported by Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

Neil Hennessy is making his eighth acquisition, this time for a pair of mutual funds with about $640 million in combined AUM. Pending board, regulatory, and shareholder approval, the deal is expected to close in Q3 2016.

Neil Hennessy
Hennessy Funds
Chief Investment Officer, Portfolio Manager
Hennessy confirms that Hennessy Advisors [profile] is buying the assets of the four-star, $442.4-million Westport Fund and the two-star, $198.2-million Westport Select Cap Fund, the two funds managed by Westport, Connecticut-based Westport Advisors [profile]. Hennessy is just merging the two funds' assets, in this case into the five-star, $1.1-billion Hennessy Cornerstone Mid Cap 30 Fund; no Westport employees will be moving as part of the deal.

Hennessy declines to comment on the terms of the deal, which did not involve any investment banks. Yet he confirms that it's an all-cash deal.

Andy Knuth and Ed Nicklin co-founded Westport Advisers.

"Andy and Ed have been managing money a long time. They want to retire," Hennessy tells MFWire. "They did a wonderful job over the years ... Andy and Ed are just really nice people, nice to deal with."

Knuth praises Hennessy as being "committed to the mutual fund business" with "a solid reputation." Nicklin adds that he and Knuth "believe [Westport Funds] shareholders will receive excellent portfolio management and service under the leadership of Neil Hennessy and the team at Hennessy advisors."

"It's a great fit and a perfect fit from the shareholders' standpoint," Hennessy says. "They're going to merge into a five-star fund with lower expense ratios and an understandable and quantitative way that the money's being managed."

The two Westport funds have been actively managed using a value-oriented investing process.

Hennessy estimates that the deal will push the fund firm's AUM to more than $7 billion. 

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