Shanda Group, the Singapore-based investment holding company set up by the Shanghai online gaming company of the same name, will purchase a 9.9% stake in asset management holding company Legg Mason held by Trian Fund Management.
A statement e-mailed by a spokeswoman for Trian said, "Trian today announced that it has entered into an agreement to sell a 9.9% interest in Legg Mason, Inc., which is substantially all of its 10.3% stake in the company, to the Shanda Group … for $32 per share.”
The Trian statement said, “Trian is selling the shares for portfolio management purposes … (and) believes that Shanda Group will be a strong strategic partner for Legg Mason.”
In a Legg Mason news release Tuesday, Joseph A. Sullivan, chairman and CEO of Legg Mason, welcomed Shanda’s “partnership” as Legg Mason’s asset management affiliates strive to meet the needs of global clients.
A Shanda spokesman couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.
The Legg Mason deal would be at least the second time Shanda’s name has surfaced over the past year in merger and acquisition activity involving globe-spanning money management firms. Investment bankers, who declined to be named, said Shanda was one of the last few bidders for the sale of Russell Investments — ultimately won by private equity firm TA Associates in October 2015.
The Legg Mason news release described Shanda as “one of the earliest and leading internet conglomerates in China before its transformation into a global investor in 2014.”