Private equity firm Onex Corp. announced Friday it is acquiring wealth manager Gluskin Sheff + Associates Inc. in a $445-million deal.
The $14.25 per share offer represents a 28-per-cent premium to Gluskin Sheff’s Friday closing price, and the transaction has the unanimous support of the firm’s board of directors, the companies said in a release.
Onex Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Gerry Schwartz described the deal as a complementary fit for the two firms’ core competencies.
“By combining Gluskin Sheff’s public securities investing platforms with Onex’s private equity and private debt platforms the clients of both firms will have greater investment options,” Schwartz said in a release.
Onex plans to retain Gluskin Sheff’s existing brand and management team, the release said.
The deal is the latest in a string of transactions in the Canadian wealth management industry. Last year the Bank of Nova Scotia acquired Jarislowsky Fraser Ltd. for about $950 million, and in 2017 CI Financial purchased Sentry Investments for $780 million.
While Gluskin Sheff’s shareholders would pocket a premium in the deal, shares of the company are a far cry from the low $30-range they traded at in 2014. Like many of its peers, the firm took a beating during the financial crisis.
In recent years, the wealth manager has struggled to maintain or grow its assets under management, which fell to $8.2 billion at the end of 2018 from $9 billion the previous year.
The deal is expected to close in the first half of 2019, pending shareholder, regulatory and court approvals.