GAMMay 16 2023

Investor group raises stake in Gam after objecting to takeover

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Investor group raises stake in Gam after objecting to takeover
Pexels/Tim Mossholder

An investor group plans to increase its shareholding in Gam asset management, a week after lodging an objection to its takeover.

The group, led by French telecomms billionaire Xavier Niel, said today (May 16) that it has notified the Swiss financial regulator of its intention to increase its share in the Swiss asset manager above 10 per cent.

It currently controls 8.4 per cent of Gam.

Last week, the group filed an objection to Liontrust’s takeover of Gam, calling for the removal of a condition that allows Liontrust to withdraw its offer if Gam cannot sell its fund management business.

“This condition makes the offer unfair to Gam's shareholders, needlessly favours the bidder and is contrary to the principles of Swiss takeover law,” the group said. 

This condition would allow Liontrust to profit from the potential sale, the group said, while bearing none of the risk of a failed sale, “which Gam’s shareholders would bear in full”.

In the stock exchange statement announcing the takeover last week, Liontrust said its board understood that 19.6 per cent of Gam, including its director and senior managers, indicated they would support the acquisition.

NewGAMe SA is controlled by Rock Investment, which is owned by NJJ Holding, the personal holding company of French telecommunications billionaire Xavier Niel.

Bruellan SA is a provider of global wealth management solutions.

Liontrust announced the deal to acquire Gam earlier this month, which would create a wealth manager with £53bn of assets under management.

The buyer will offer 0.06 Liontrust shares for each Gam share, issuing 9.4mn new shares in Liontrust for the purposes of the transaction. 

The deal represents a 16 per cent discount to Gam’s latest closing share price, and is expected to complete in the final quarter this year, subject to regulatory approval.