Henderson drops talks to buy SunTrust assets
LONDON (Reuters) - Anglo-Australian asset manager Henderson said it had pulled out of talks to buy fund boutiques from U.S. bank SunTrust, frustrating the firm's efforts to boost exposure to American institutional investors.
In a short statement on Friday, Henderson (HGGH.L) said the discussions to buy part of SunTrust (STI.N) unit RidgeWorth "have been discontinued as the parties have not reached agreement on terms".
A Henderson spokesman said a number of strategic, operational and financial factors had contributed to the breakdown in talks.
Reports had put a possible purchase price at between $300 million and $400 million. A source close to the company told Reuters in April that any deal would be worth in excess of the 107 million pounds which Henderson paid to acquire New Star.
Henderson had been interested in RidgeWorth's activities outside of its money market funds, and is still interested in pursuing a U.S. deal, the spokesman said.
"Our priority is to grow more globally. U.S. assets are about 14 percent (of total assets under management) and this may have taken us to 40.
"That's a reasonable target to hit and an acquisition is a quicker way of getting there," he said.
RidgeWorth has a large fixed-income business, as well as domestic and international equity assets. It would have given Henderson a new distribution channel into the U.S. market.
Henderson shares were up with the broader market, rising 0.9 percent to 132.6 pence while the FTSE 100 .FTSE rose 0.3 percent. (Reporting by Joel Dimmock; Editing by Michael Shields))
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