Three foreign firms plan to make their final bids for Putnam Investments ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday, The Wall Street Journal reports, citing people familiar with the bidding process. The trio includes U.K. asset manager Amvescap, parent of AIM Investments; Canadian financial holding company Power Corp.; and Italy’s UniCredito Italiano, The Journal says.
A decision on which offer to accept, if any, by Putnam’s parent company Marsh & McLennan isn’t expected for several weeks. While the dollar amounts of those bids have not been revealed, Putnam may accept an offer with an “earn out” clause, The Journal says, which would allow the buyer to offer a lower price at the outset and additional incentive payments if certain financial goals are met. Other firms that have been rumored to be in the market for Putnam are Lincoln Financial Group, which runs Delaware Investments and Ameriprise Financial.
Putnam’s assets, which have recently fallen below $100 billion—its the lowest level in more than a decade—are less than half of what they were at their peak in 2000. Since that time, investors have sought mass redemptions due to poor performance and fallout from the market-timing scandal. Still, the fund performance and the company’s reputation have improved since CEO and President Charles “Ed” Haldeman took the helm, even though that hasn’t been reflected in fund sales. It is still unclear, however, whether or not the acquiring firm would dissolve the Putnam brand, one that dates back to 1937.
Final Bids for Putnam Are Due Before Thanksgiving Holiday (The Wall Street Journal)