Prudential's Asian asset management unit Eastspring Investments is buying 50.1% of Thanachart Fund Management for 4.21 billion baht ($137.5m), in a deal that with give the firm accessto a wide customer base in a country with one of the largest and fastest-growing asset management markets in Southeast Asia.
Eastspring is acquiring a 25.1% stake in TFUND from Thanachart Bank Public Company (TBANK), and acquiring Government Savings Bank's entire 25% stake. Following the acquisition, TBANK's customers will have access to Eastspring's investment solutions.
The deal is worth 4,21 million baht ($137.5m), and is contingent on regulatory approval and the merger of TBank and TMB Bank, which was previously agreed on 8 August, the announcement noted. The merger of banks will create Thailand's sixth-largest bank, with 10 million retail customers and over 2 trillion Thai baht ($62.6bn) in total assets.
By signing this agreement, we are seizing the opportunity to acquire a highly attractive business in the growing Thai market and work more closely with strong partners"
"The acquisition of TFUND reinforces Prudential's commitment to the Thai market and complements Eastspring's acquisition of 65% of TMB Asset Management (now TMBAM Eastspring) that was completed in September 2018," said Prudential. Similar to the TMBAM acquisition, Eastspring has an option to increase ownership of TFUND to 100% in the future.
Collectively, TFUND and TMBAM Eastspring will be Thailand's fourth-largest asset manager with a 12% market share and a combined assets under management of 653 billion baht.
Thailand is one of the largest and fastest-growing asset management markets in Southeast Asia, supported by an expanding middle class, rising affluence and regulatory changes.
"By signing this agreement, we are seizing the opportunity to acquire a highly attractive business in the growing Thai market and work more closely with strong partners - TMB and TBANK,"Nic Nicandrou, chief executive of Prudential Corporation Asia, said. He added that Prudential will become Asia-led following the demerger of the group's UK and Europe business.
Eastpsring has $216bn in assets under management as of June 30, 2019.