Henderson In Talks To Buy Gartmore

Dec 20 2010 | 10:02am ET

Henderson Group is poised to be Gartmore Group’s white knight. The rival of the troubled fund manager said Friday that it had opened talks with Gartmore about buying the firm.

Henderson said its initial proposal was to buy Gartmore at “a slight discount” to the company’s closing share price on Thursday. The offer would value Gartmore, which had more than £20 billion in assets under management before this year’s troubles struck, at £360 million.

“Henderson’s proposal is conditional,” Gartmore said. “No terms have been agreed and there can be no certainty that a transaction would proceed on the basis set out in Gartmore’s announcement.”

Gartmore put itself up for sale last month after star hedge fund manager Roger Guy announced his retirement after 17 years at the firm. Guy’s exit is just one of a handful of high-level departures from the firm in recent months and it triggered an avalanche of redemption requests, leading some to question whether Gartmore could survive without a buyer or merger partner.

A deal for Gartmore would appear to be a change of plans for Henderson, which had previously said it planned to seek acquisitions that would give it an increased foothold in the U.S. and Asia.


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