AssetCo shareholders back R&M takeover

AssetCo shareholders back R&M takeover

AssetCo’s shareholders have voted overwhelmingly in support of the group’s takeover of River & Mercantile.

At a general meeting today, 100 per cent of voting shareholders approved the deal, accounting for 73 per cent of AssetCo’s total shareholding.

Two votes out of more than 6mn were against the takeover, and none were withheld.

Martin Gilbert, chairman of AssetCo, said the result was an “important step” in the group’s journey.

"Twelve months ago, almost to the day, we received shareholder approval to implement a strategy to develop AssetCo into an asset and wealth manager,” he said.

“We have already made significant progress through establishing interests in an active equity manager, a thematic ETF provider and a wealth management platform. 

“River and Mercantile will now become our core equity offering and its infrastructure capability will be the cornerstone of our private markets business.”  

AssetCo confirmed the reverse takeover earlier this year. 

The group will pay £98.8mn for the company in an all share transaction. 

AssetCo already has a stake in R&M, whose shareholders will receive 0.73 AssetCo shares for every R&M share they own. R&M shareholders will own more than 40 per cent of AssetCo shares as a result of the transaction. 

The group’s intention is also to launch products which invest in unquoted companies, particularly in the ESG universe. AssetCo deputy chairman Peter McKellar previously ran the private markets business at Aberdeen. 

R&M was formed in 2014 and has assets under management of £49bn.

AssetCo is a former shell company which Gilbert and several former colleagues from the firm he founded, Aberdeen Asset Management, have used to buy stakes in a number of businesses in the asset and wealth management sectors, including a stake in the Parmenion platform and Saracen. 

The company's chief executive, Campbell Fleming, is tasked with the day-to-day running of the businesses acquired by AssetCo, while Gilbert and others focus on the M&A.