Fiera Capital acquires 80% interest in Palmer Capital as it further expands its footprint in Europe
Fiera Capital Corporation (TSX: FSZ) (“Fiera Capital” or the “Firm”), a leading independent asset management firm, announced today that it has reached an agreement for the acquisition of an 80% interest in Palmer Capital Partners Limited (“Palmer Capital”), a leading UK focused real estate investment manager, based in London, UK. The acquisition will be made through Fiera Capital’s wholly owned subsidiary, Fiera Properties Limited (“Fiera Properties”), its dedicated real estate investment management company, which provides direct real estate investment opportunities to institutional investors, foundation and endowment clients, and high net worth individuals.
Palmer Capital, founded in 1992, has over £800 million in assets under management with an additional £215.5 million managed through the joint ventures of eight regional property companies in which it is a minority shareholder (as at 30th September 2018). It will remain independently managed but will become the UK arm of Fiera Properties, part of Fiera Capital’s alternative asset offerings. Ray Palmer, the founder of Palmer Capital, will remain the Executive Chairman and Alex Price, Chief Executive Officer, will continue to run the day to daystrategy and operations of the business.
“Palmer Capital is a perfect fit for us as we look to further grow our footprint outside of North America,” saidVincent Duhamel, Global President and Chief Operating Officer, Fiera Capital. “This is a strategic acquisition with a growing business in Europe and the United Kingdom – key areas of focus for us as we expand globally. We have grown significantly over the last decade by acquiring stakes in best in class boutique firms, underpinning them with operational and strategic support and leaving their talented investment professionals to focus their time and skill on delivering strong positive investment performance.”
John Valentini, President and Chief Executive Officer, Fiera Private Alternative Investments, added: “This transaction, which sees Fiera Capital taking a long-term view of the UK real estate market, is very much in line with our strategy of expanding our current service offering in alternative strategies and provides an excellent platform for both Fiera Properties and Palmer Capital to expand their domestic businesses and become part of a coordinated and growing global business. The combined business significantly expands the range of offerings to our existing client bases.”
This acquisition marks Fiera Capital’s first acquisition of a real estate investment management businessoutside of Canada and its second acquisition in the UK market following its acquisition of boutique fund manager Charlemagne Capital in 2017. Expanding globally, in March 2018, Fiera Capital increased its presence in Asia with the acquisition of Clearwater Capital Partners.
Chief Executive Officer of Palmer Capital, Alex Price, commented: “We are delighted to become the UK arm of the Fiera Properties business, and to use this strategic alliance to improve the service we can give to our clients. We also welcome the opportunity to more easily access North American capital seeking access to the UK, a market where we see opportunity in 2019. From a cultural, product and philosophical view point, ourselves and Fiera Properties are very similar and we look forward to continuing to support the growth of our backed property companies, our client portfolios and Fiera Properties in the UK.”
The transaction is expected to be immediately accretive, adding single digit accretion to adjusted earnings per share within the first full year post-closing.
The transaction is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2019. The transaction will increase Fiera Capital’s headcount in the UK to over 100.