Azimut today has signed an agreement to acquire the entire capital of Pride Advice via its Australian subsidiary, AZ Next Generation Advisory Pty Ltd. The agreement includes a share swap of 49% of Pride's equity for AZ NGA shares and a progressive buy back of these shares over the next ten years. The remaining 51% stake will be paid to the founding partners in cash over a period of two years. This second agreement follows the recently announced deal reached with Eureka Whittaker Macnaught and confirms AZ NGA's objective of consolidating Australian financial practices providing wealth management services to retail, HNW and institutional clients in Australia.
AZ NGA was established in November 2014 and is part of Azimut Group, Italy's leading independent asset manager, established in 1989 and today operating in 13 countries with more than EUR 34bn (equivalent to A$ 48bn) in AuM.
The Pride Group was established in 2003 by Brett Schatto and manages over A$ 180mn of assets under advice (equivalent to EUR 128mn), and provides services to over 1,700 clients. Pride employs 9 staff in its Adelaide based operations offering a comprehensive range of financial planning services including investment and asset allocation advice, retirement planning, insurance, and strategic financial planning advice to its client base. Together with EWM and Pride AZ NGA's business model will assist clients from the Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide offices and grow the distribution reach by attracting financial planners as well as continuing its consolidation plan.
The total value of the transaction considering both the cash and share swap entails a purchase price of around 2.5mn. The closing of the transaction is expected to occur within the next few weeks upon satisfaction of some conditions precedent provided in the sale and purchase agreement. Pride operates under the Australian Financial Services License regime overseen by ASIC; the acquisition is not subject to the approval of the local authority. Pride will continue to be lead by CEO Brett Schatto who has entered into long term arrangements to ensure continuity of service.
Paul Barrett, AZ NGA CEO states: "Pride Advice is a leading professional financial planning firm as well as a very fast growing business. Brett is a pioneer in modern professional financial planning and we are thrilled to have Pride in our stable of firms."
Brett will also be appointed board member in AZ NGA. Brett Schatto says: "We are delighted to be involved with such an exciting project. We are looking forward to working with Azimut and AZ NGA in continuing to deliver great results for our clients."
Capital Strategies Partners, a third party mutual fund distribution firm, holds the distribution of AZ Fund Management products in Latin America.