News Column

Canadian group swoops for F&C with £700m bid

January 28, 2014

MICHAEL BOW

ONE OF Britain's oldest investment companies is on the brink of being sold to Canada's fourth biggest bank in a 700m takeover deal. F&C Asset Management , which runs the 145-year-old Foreign & Colonial Investment Trust , yesterday said the Bank of Montreal had tabled a 120p a share offer for the firm which it was likely to recommend to shareholders. The offer is a 28 per cent premium to the close price of F&C shares on Friday night. Top shareholders such as Aviva, Standard Life and Threadneedle Investment owner Ameriprise Financial will also be entitled to their 2p a share dividend for the full year. Yesterday's announcement caused F&C shares to spike nearly 28 per cent before falling back a little to close below the takeover price at 116.4p Numis' David McCann said the 120p a share offer was low given F&C's earnings potential this year and that a counter bid was "not impossible". JP Morgan Cazenove banker John Mayne , Dwayne Lysaght and Mike Collar are advising F&C chief executive Richard Wilson on the bidding. If completed, the deal will bring to an end a turbulent period in F&C's history, which saw activist investor Ed Bramson take control of the company as chairman in 2011 before selling out his stake and leaving the company last year.


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Source: City A.M. (UK)


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