Amundi nears deal to buy rival Lyxor for €825m

Amundi, the Paris-based asset manager, has entered exclusive talks to buy Lyxor from Société Générale in a cash deal worth €825m that will better equip it compete against aggressive US rivals that are expanding in Europe.

Amundi will acquire Lyxor’s €77bn exchange traded fund unit and become the second-largest player in Europe’s fast-growing ETF industry behind BlackRock. It will also acquire €47bn of actively managed assets from Lyxor that are mainly dedicated to alternative investments including hedge funds.

The deal, which is subject to regulatory approval, excludes about €16bn of Lyxor’s assets under management in areas such as structured products, which will be retained by Société Générale.

Disentangling Lyxor’s complicated relationships with Société Générale has been one of the main barriers to a deal, which has been the subject of market speculation for more than 18 months.

The acquisition marks the conclusion of Yves Perrier’s 11-year tenure as chief executive, during which time he helped to build Amundi into Europe’s largest asset manager.

Perrier, who will become Amundi’s chair in May, said the acquisition of Lyxor would strengthen Paris’s position as a European financial centre in the post-Brexit era.

“The acquisition of Lyxor will accelerate the development of Amundi in ETFs and alternative asset management with highly recognised investment teams,” said Perrier.

Valérie Baudson, the deputy chief executive who was responsible for the launch of Amundi’s ETF business in 2008, will become chief executive in May.

Amundi estimates that the acquisition will increase estimated earnings per share by about 7 per cent in 2021 and provide an investment return of more than 10 per cent in the third year after the completion of the deal, which is expected by February 2022 at the latest. The €825m valuation for Lyxor represents an enterprise value multiple of about 10 times estimated earnings for 2021.

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