UK-based specialist asset manager Liontrust has conditionally agreed to acquire the full issued share capital of investment management firm GAM.

As consideration for the acquisition, Liontrust will issue 9.4 million of its new ordinary shares to the Switzerland-based company. Upon the completion of the deal, shareholders of the publicly-listed GAM will own approximately 12.6% of the combined group.

The transaction is expected to create a global asset manager with £53bn in assets under management and administration on a pro forma basis.

According to Liontrust, the deal will expedite its progress and expansion through the larger investment capability and global distribution of the enlarged entity.

Besides, it is expected to expand Liontrust’s fund range and asset classes, including thematic equities, fixed income, and alternatives.

Liontrust chief executive John Ions said: “This is a significant acquisition that accelerates the growth of Liontrust through enhancing our distribution globally, product capability and investment talent.

“Liontrust and GAM are both client centric businesses that thrive on providing solutions and first-class service. The enlarged company will provide the platform from which to deliver this to a broader client base.”

Liontrust expects to create an environment to allow the investment teams to focus on handling their portfolios without distractions while operating under a strong risk and compliance framework.

GAM has also agreed to transfer all third-party fund management services clients serviced out of Switzerland and Luxembourg to a specialist asset servicing company active across Europe.

GAM CEO Peter Sanderson said: “Our distinctive approaches to investing and culture are closely aligned, and this combination represents the best opportunity for our talented team of professionals at GAM to continue to provide clients with high conviction active investment strategies.

“The resulting business will have a strong balance sheet, a broader array of excellent investment products, and a global distribution footprint from which to deliver growth that our shareholders can participate in the future.”

Following the closing of the deal, Liontrust seeks to rename all GAM funds as Liontrust and to make GAM operate under the former’s brand.

The proposed deal is anticipated to complete in Q4 2023.