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AssetCo announces deal to buy Ocean Dial Asset Management for £4.1m

Martin Gilbert buyout vehicle AssetCo set to buy India-focused Ocean Dial Asset Management for £4.1m

  • AssetCo said it would purchase the investment manager Ocean Dial for £4.1m
  • The India Capital Growth Fund primarily focuses on small and mid-cap stocks 
  • Around a quarter of the fund’s holdings are in the financial services sector 

Martin Gilbert’s acquisition vehicle AssetCo has agreed to buy Ocean Dial Asset Management, marking the latest acquisition in its ever-expanding empire.

The company said it would purchase the investment manager for £4.1million from its current owner, London-based Avendus Capital Asset Management.

Launched in 2005, Ocean Dial currently looks after the India Capital Growth Fund, which has a net asset value exceeding £127million and an annual run rate revenue of £1.4million as of February.

Takeover: Acquisition vehicle AssetCo, chaired by Martin Gilbert (pictured), has agreed to buy Ocean Dial Asset Management for £4.1m in a cash and shares deal

According to its website, the fund’s portfolio primarily focuses on small and mid-cap stocks, and around a quarter of its holdings are in the financial services sector.

Its investments are also concentrated in the industrial, materials and consumer discretionary sectors.

To fulfil the deal, AssetCo will pay £2.13million in cash and acquire over 2.9 million shares worth 1p each, with £500,000 and 732,065 shares of this amount deferred until next year.

Approval for the transaction is required from the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority and India’s Reserve Bank and Securities Exchange Board. 

Once completed, AssetCo will integrate Ocean Dial into its River and Mercantile brand, along with other active equity asset managers, including SVM Asset Management, Saracen Fund Managers and Revera.

The three companies have been bought by AssetCo in the past two years for a combined £16.3million, as part of Mr Gilbert’s efforts to create a prominent new British wealth and asset management player.

The Edinburgh-based group, which previously leased fire engines and ambulance vehicles to the emergency services, has also built up stakes in Parmenion Capital Partners and exchange traded funds provider Rize ETF.

City grandee Gilbert said the firm’s ‘mission is to acquire, improve and grow asset management businesses with potential’.

He added: ‘We are excited about the long-term potential that India offers and see opportunities to add value by bringing Ocean Dial together with the other active equity asset management businesses we are combining under the River and Mercantile brand.’

Gilbert became AssetCo’s chairman two years ago, soon after he purchased a large stake in the cash shell as part of a consortium that included Toscafund Asset Management and his longtime colleague Peter McKellar.

Prior to that, he co-founded and spent over three decades in charge of Aberdeen Asset Management and its successor Standard Life Aberdeen, renamed Abrdn in July 2021.

AssetCo’s latest takeover announcement comes a couple of weeks after it declared falling to a £9.3million loss for the 12 months ending September due partly to costs associated with acquisitions.

AssetCo shares were 0.7 per cent up at 68.5p on late Monday afternoon, although their value has plunged by more than half in the past 12 months.


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