Last updated: 05:36 / Friday, 9 October 2020
Expected in 2021

Morgan Stanley to Acquire Eaton Vance for $7 Billion

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  • The acquisition will make Morgan Stanley Investment Management a leading asset manager with approximately $1.2 trillion of AUM and over $5 billion of combined revenues
  • The combination will enhance client opportunities, by bringing Eaton Vance’s leading U.S. retail distribution together with MSIM’s international distribution
  • The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions, and is expected to close in the second quarter of 2021
  • La adquisición está sujeta a los procesos habituales de aprobación y se espera que la operación quede cerrada en el segundo trimestre de 2021

Morgan Stanley has entered a definitive agreement to acquire Eaton Vance, a provider of advanced investment strategies and wealth management solutions with over $500 billion in assets under management (AUM), for an equity value of approximately $7 billion.

The acquisition will make Morgan Stanley Investment Management (MSIM) a leading asset manager with approximately $1.2 trillion of AUM and over $5 billion of combined revenues. The asset manager stated in a press release that it avances its "strategic transformation" with three world-class businesses of scale: Institutional Securities, Wealth Management and Investment Management.

MSIM and Eaton Vance consider themselves "highly complementary" with limited overlap in investment and distribution capabilities. Eaton Vance is a market leader in key secular growth areas, including in individual separate accounts, customized investment solutions through Parametric, and responsible ESG investing through Calvert. "Eaton Vance fills product gaps and delivers quality scale to the MSIM franchise. The combination will also enhance client opportunities, by bringing Eaton Vance’s leading U.S. retail distribution together with MSIM’s international distribution", points out the press release.

“Eaton Vance is a perfect fit for Morgan Stanley. This transaction further advances our strategic transformation by continuing to add more fee-based revenues to complement our world-class investment banking and institutional securities franchise. With the addition of Eaton Vance, Morgan Stanley will oversee $4.4 trillion of client assets and AUM across its Wealth Management and Investment Management segments", said James P. Gorman, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Morgan Stanley.

Meanwhile, Thomas E. Faust, Jr., Chief Executive Officer of Eaton Vance stated that by joining Morgan Stanley, they will be able to further accelerate their growth by building upon their common values and strengths, which are focused on investment excellence, innovation and client service. "Bringing Eaton Vance’s leading brands and capabilities under Morgan Stanley creates a uniquely powerful set of investment solutions to serve both institutional and retail clients in the U.S. and internationally", he added.

The details of the transaction

The firms point out that this transaction is attractive for shareholders and will deliver long-term financial benefits. "Both companies have demonstrated industry-leading organic growth and have strong cultural alignment".

The combination will better position Morgan Stanley to generate attractive financial returns through increased scale, improved distribution, cost savings of $150MM – or 4% of MSIM and Eaton Vance expenses – and revenue opportunities. 

Under the terms of the merger agreement, Eaton Vance shareholders will receive $28.25 per share in cash and 0.5833x of Morgan Stanley common stock, representing a total consideration of approximately $56.50 per share. Based on the $56.50 per share, the aggregate consideration paid to holders of Eaton Vance’s common stock will consist of approximately 50% cash and 50% Morgan Stanley common stock.

The merger agreement also contains an election procedure allowing each Eaton Vance shareholder to seek all cash or all stock, subject to a proration and adjustment mechanism. In addition, Eaton Vance common shareholders will receive a one-time special cash dividend of $4.25 per share to be paid pre-closing by Eaton Vance to Eaton Vance common shareholders from existing balance sheet resources.

The transaction will not be taxable to Eaton Vance shareholders to the extent that they receive Morgan Stanley common stock as consideration. The transaction has been approved by the voting trust that holds all of the voting common stock of Eaton Vance, says the press release.  

The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions, and is expected to close in the second quarter of 2021.

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