Principal Group Acquires Majority Stake In London’s Origin

Jul 8 2011 | 8:28am ET

Iowa-based asset manager Principal Global Investors will acquire 74% of London-based Origin Asset Management for approximately US$66 million.

“We are delighted to be entering into this partnership,” said Jim McCaughan, chief executive officer of Principal Global Investors. “Origin’s proven capabilities in managing global equities will be very attractive to our clients and advisors around the world.”

Origin partners will retain a 26% stake in the business and will reinvest a “substantial” share of their consideration into funds managed by the firm, according to the press release announcing the deal. Founded in 2005, Origin currently managed about US$3 billion.

All passive investors in Origin, including IPGL, will sell their entire holdings to The Principal.

“We are excited to be teaming up with Principal Global Investors,” said Nigel Dutson, managing partner of Origin. “This strategic partnership will allow us to continue the development of our business around the world while maintaining our operating independence, distinctive investment process and organizational culture.”

The transaction is expected to close in October 2011, pending regulatory approval. Fenchurch Advisory Partners advised The Principal on the transaction.

The acquisition is The Principal’s third for 2011. In April, it acquired 100% of HSBC AFORE from Grupo Financiero HSBC and a majority stake in Finisterre Capital. The deals are part of the group’s 2011 capital deployment strategy.

The Principal Financial Group has $327.4 billion AUM and offices in Asia, Australia, Europe, Latin America and the United States.

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