Private equity investor Hellman & Friedman and Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC have reached a deal to acquire mutual fund platform Allfunds Bank for €1.8bn from co-owners Santander Asset Management and Intesa Sanpaolo.
Spain’s Santander has agreed to sell its 25% stake in Allfunds Bank for around €470m, the Spanish lender said in a note submited to the Spanish financial regulator CNMV.
The sale would earn the bank net capital gains of around €300m, Santander said.
Italy’s Intesa Sanpaolo also said it had agreed to sell its 50% share in Allfunds Bank for around €900m.
The Italian biggest retail bank said in a statement it would book a net capital gain from the sale of some €800m.
Allfunds Bank has grown rapidly from assets under administration of €55bn in 2011 to more than €250bn currently. The mutual fund platform became the largest European platform in 2014 and has since then reinforced this position with a market share of 12.6% of the European B2B platform market, according to Platforum data.
“Allfunds Bank’s impressive growth has been fuelled by an increasing demand for open architecture solutions in Europe as big distributors of retail funds such as private banks and insurance companies have been opening up to third-party funds over the last few years,” said Platforum senior analyst, Rodolfo Crespo.
“The platform’s growth is also the result of an aggressive strategy of international expansion from home markets Spain and Italy into Central Europe, the UK, Asia and more recently in Latin America, which is a natural move for a platform of Spanish roots. In our annual surveys of fund groups, the platform has been consistently praised for providing best-in class distribution potential, value for money and management information.
“It will be interesting to see how the new owners support the next phase of Allfunds Bank’s growth strategy in an environment of platform consolidation and potentially disruptive regulation. Last year the platform said it was looking to grow further in Europe through acquisitions so it could be a case of gaining more scale and carrying on with its international expansion,” Crespo added.
Platforum sait it expects to see consolidation of adviser firms across Europe, particularly in the UK, France and Germany, so there could be an opportunity for Allfunds Bank to offer a white-labelled platform at institutional pricing levels to adviser firms with significant size.
It also expects to see the platform accelerate its plan to support ETFs and other listed securities.