F&C in £700m takeover talks with Canada’s BMO

It is not yet known whether the company would stay listed in the UK

One of the City’s best-known fund managers, F&C Asset Management, looks set to fall into Canadian hands after entering into £700m takeover talks with BMO Financial, it emerged yesterday.

F&C, which can trace its roots back to 1868, said that it is holding “advanced discussions” with the North American lender and is likely to recommend a 120p-a-share offer from its suitor once a formal bid is made.

If completed, the deal would round off an eventful few years for F&C, which was overhauled in 2011 by corporate raider Ed Bramson.

Mr Bramson, who stood down as chairman in August, oversaw a 20 per cent rise in the group’s share price by stripping out costs, replacing its management team and altering strategy. His Sherborne Investors handed its near-20 per cent stake in F&C to its backers – including Aviva Investors and Standard Life – last year, meaning that they stand to pocket a good return on their investment.

Since shaking up F&C, Mr Bramson has also invested in Britain’s oldest private-equity group, 3i, although he sold down his 5 per cent holding in the company November and simply banked a profit.   

BMO has until 24 February to make a firm offer for F&C, and it is not yet known whether the company would remain listed in the UK or not.

Talks between the two parties are the latest example of a Canadian institution investing in the UK, following previous deals by the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan and Canaccord.

Shares in F&C soared almost 25 per cent after the announcement, eventually closing up 22.9p at 116.4p.

BMO began life as Bank of Montreal back in 1817 and now controls total assets of C$537bn (£292bn) and employs 45,500 people in its retail-banking, wealth-management and investment-banking arms in Canada and the US. The company hopes to increase its presence across the globe in areas like Asia as well as London. 

In contrast, F&C had assets under management of £90.1bn at the end of September down from £92.3bn at the end of June.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Arts and Entertainment
film
Arts and Entertainment
Preening: Johnny Depp in 'Mortdecai'
filmMortdecai becomes actor's fifth consecutive box office bomb
News
peopleWarning - contains a lot of swearing
Travel
travel
Arts and Entertainment
arts + ents
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Ashdown Group: Client Services Manager - Relationship Management - London

£30000 - £32000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, int...

Recruitment Genius: Credit Controller / Customer Service

£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This rapidly expanding business...

Guru Careers: In-House / Internal Recruiter

£25 - 28k + Bonus: Guru Careers: An In-house / Internal Recruiter is needed to...

Recruitment Genius: Tax Assistant

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Tax Assistant is required to join a leading ...

Day In a Page

Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project