One Gabelli, Two Gamcos?
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Monday, April 13, 2015

One Gabelli, Two Gamcos?

Mario Gabelli is preparing to split his company in two.

On Friday the star PM and chairman and CEO (and founder) of Gamco Investors [profile] unveiled plans to divide the 37-year-old Rye, New York-based asset manager into two publicly traded companies. Josh Beckerman of the Wall Street Journal reported on the news. The company promises to file for the plan soon with the SEC.

Kevin Handwerker, executive vice president and general counsel at Gamco, tells the WSJ that the traditional asset management business (which includes its mutual funds and separate accounts) would remain under the Gamco label. Handwerker adds that the piece that would spinoff would include Gamco's existing alternatives and broker-dealer businesses. And Gabelli himself explained the idea and what his role will be in the two companies post-split:

We went public sixteen years ago in 1999. We are now preparing for the next sixteen years as a public company and the next thirty-seven years as a business. We are doing this by creating an enhanced economic opportunity and growth platforms for our clients, teammates and owners. I plan to continue to serve as Chairman and CEO of GAMCO, our traditional asset management business, as well as having an active executive role during the initial formation of our newly created separate entity (Spinco [emphasis added]).

The WSJ notes that Gabelli says "he likes to invest in companies that have a history of splitting off successful businesses, and then invest in both companies."

Gamco trades on the NYSE under the ticker GBL. As of market close on Friday, before the split news broke, its market cap stood at $2.02 billion. That translates into a valuation of 4.25 percent of Gamco's December 31 assets under management of $47.5 billion.

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