Azimut Group, a Milan-based money manager, will acquire a majority stake in Sydney-based Australian equity boutique Sigma Funds Management.
Azimut said in a news release Thursday that its Luxembourg holding company, AZ International Holdings, has reached an agreement with Sigma to acquire a 51% stake in the manager, which had assets under management of A$70 million ($54 million) as of March 31.
The news release said Azimut would provide Sigma with up to A$2.1 million in working capital in return for that stake. The agreement will allow Azimut to increase its equity stake over the coming 10 years.
With the expected close of the deal this month, Azimut will own 51% of Sigma and Sigma executives will retain a 49% stake in the firm.
Azimut's stake will come partly from Pinnacle Investment Management, a Sydney-based multiboutique asset management holding company that acquired a 20% stake in Sigma in 2011, and partly from Sigma executives. Executives declined to provide exact details.
In a telephone interview, Steve Giubin, director of Sigma, said after the deal closes, Pinnacle will continue to market Sigma's funds in Australia under a third-party distribution arrangement.
Likewise, in the Azimut-Sigma news release, Pietro Giuliani, chairman and CEO of Azimut Holdings, said Azimut will be looking to offer Sigma's strategies to its local and international clients.