Gilbert’s AssetCo gets OK for India fund manager deal

Martin Gilbert

Martin Gilbert’s asset manager AssetCo announced that the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority has approved its “change in control application” which will enable AssetCo to proceed with its acquisition of Ocean Dial Asset Management Limited from Avendus Capital Asset Management (UK) Limited, once Indian regulatory approvals have been obtained.

Ocean Dial manages the assets of the India Capital Growth Fund Limited, which had a net asset value in excess of £150m at the end of July.

The fund has been advised for several years by Gaurav Narain and team, based in India, who will be joining the AssetCo Group on completion.

The fund has out-performed its benchmark by 7% over the last year.

“The requisite clearances from the Indian regulators are at an advanced stage,” said AssetCo.

“Further information on the acquisition and on Ocean Dial was set out in AssetCo’s announcement of the transaction on 6 March 2023.

“The consideration for the acquisition is £4.125m (subject to possible adjustments) to be satisfied by the issue of 2,928,258 ordinary shares of £0.01 each in the capital of the company, and £2.125m in cash.

“The acquisition is expected to be earnings enhancing for the group and provides that the economic interest in the Ocean Dial business accrues to AssetCo from the date of FCA approval.”

AssetCo chair Martin Gilbert said: “The approval of the FCA is a significant step forwards and brings us closer to completing our acquisition of OceanDial, which will broaden and strengthen our equity management capability.

“We are delighted to celebrate that progress on Independence Day for India, recognising that we await final approval from the Indian regulators.

“India is making significant progress and its economy has the potential to match or even overtake those of the US and China in the longer term.

“The country is home to some market leading companies and a remarkable pool of talent. We are excited to be one step closer to being able to complete our acquisition of Ocean Dial.”

On June 14, Gilbert admitted that AssetCo “remains materially behind plan” amid “gloom” in the fund industry and that we remain behind where we want to be in terms of asset growth.”

Gilbert said the six months ended March 31, 2023, saw “a period of unrelenting market pressure” and that AssetCo’s group of companies “generally suffered outflows over the period, when inflows had been the expectation.”

AssetCo reported that its assets under management rose to £13.8 billion in the six months to March 31, up from £9.9 billion at the same stage of the prior year.

However, excluding assets at its Parmenion business, AssetCo reported £3.26 billion under management.

For the six months, AssetCo said revenue rose to £8.3 million from £1.3 million and the group reported a loss before taxation of £13.8 million, including £11.7 million of administrative expenses.