Spanish insurer group Mutua Madrileña has taken a 20% stake in the alternatives asset manager Cygnus Asset Management with the possibility to increase it to 50.1% by 2020.
The operation, which has been approved by the two respective board of directors, leaves an open door to a future capital increase by which Mutua could take an additional 30.1% stake in the Cygnus in 2020. The operation would bring the insurer to own 50.1% of the alternatives manager.
The acquisition will allow Mutua Group to further diversify its products as well as expand geographically, while increasing its asset management capabilities currently developed through Mutuactivos.
Cygnus' acquisition boosts significantly Mutuactivos' positioning in alternative management," Ignacio Garralda said.
THE PERFECT MARRIAGE
Cygnus AM is an alternative asset manager, based in Madrid and with assets under management amounting to €344m as of the end of last year.
It was founded in 2006 by Juan Cruz, Isabel Serra and José María Amusátegui. Cruz will continue leading the firm's management team while Amusátegui will remain as the firm's president and CEO. Both would also continue leading the firm after the expected capital increase next year. By her part, Serra manages Cygnus Funds in New York.
Following the minority stake taken by Mutua in the manager, Cygnus says it expects to end 2019 with around €400m in assets under management, scattered across two strategies, Cygnus Utilities, Infrastructure & Renewables - a long-short equity strategy -, and Cygnus Europe Event Driven, which focuses on special situations.
Ignacio Garralda, president of the Mutua Group, said: "Cygnus' strategies complement Mutuactivos' ones, since both asset manager share an investment model standing up for diversification, dynamic and responsible management, the constant search for positive returns, and risk control.
"Cygnus' acquisition boosts significantly Mutuactivos' positioning in alternative management."
José María Amusátegui, added : "We have been 14 years in relations with Mutua, which is the partner we were looking for to reach the size we wanted within our current consolidation process."
The operation follows Mutua's previous acquisitions of stakes in Alantra Wealth Management and in EDM.
The Spanish insurer took a 50% stake in the private banking business of Alantra for €23.7m in December 2018 in a bid to strengthen its asset management business through clients portfolio and purchases.
The transaction was part of Mutua Group's Strategic Plan 2018-2020, which aims at growing the Group's financial advisory business while consolidating Mutuactivos as the leading investment house in Spain, the firm explained.
Mutua also took a 30% stake in the Barcelona-headquartered manager EDM with the possibility to increase it up to 51% by the end of the year.