Epoch Investment Partners parent bought by TD Bank Group

TD Bank Group acquired Epoch Holdings Corp., parent of equity manager Epoch Investment Partners, for about $668 million in cash, confirmed Stephen Knight, TD Bank spokesman.

Epoch shareholders will receive $28 per share, a premium of about 28% from the Dec. 5 closing date.

Epoch, which has about $24.2 billion in assets under management, nearly all of it institutional, will retain its brand and operating structure. The New York-based company's leadership team, both investment and business personnel, agreed to long-term employment agreements, according to a letter to employees from Epoch CEO William Priest obtained by Pensions & Investments. He added that a “substantial” amount of the proceeds from the acquisition will be invested in Epoch products alongside clients.

“The important thing for clients to know is that, from their perspective, little should change,” Mr. Priest said in an e-mail. “Same management team, same investment philosophy and process, same client service and reporting, same people. … TD understands and respects what Epoch has achieved and the need to preserve the culture that underpins our success.”

Credit Suisse served as financial adviser to Epoch; Barclays advised Toronto-based TD Bank.

“We've been looking for an opportunity to acquire a U.S. asset manager to build our North American wealth business, which is a key growth area for TD,” said Mike Pedersen, TD Bank's group head, wealth management, insurance and corporate shared services, in an e-mail. “This acquisition makes strategic sense for TD. It will broaden our offer for institutional and retail clients in Canada and will immediately and significantly strengthen our U.S. wealth business.”

The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2013.

Subsidiary TD Asset Management has US$207 billion in AUM.