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Sofina to acquire 20% stake in Cambridge Associates

Cambridge Associates is selling a minority stake in the firm to one of its consulting clients, Sofina SA, confirmed David Druley, chairman and CEO.

Brussels-based Sofina will acquire a 20% stake in the consulting firm, Mr. Druley said, in a deal that is expected to close within 90 days. He declined to provide financial terms of the arrangement.

Cambridge Associates will continue to operate independently under its own name. Mr. Druley added in an interview.

Sofina is the third external investor to acquire a minority stake in the Boston-based consulting firm.

The two long-term Cambridge consulting clients — the Hall family of Hallmark Inc., Kansas City, Mo., and the Rothschild family — invested earlier in the firm, Mr. Druley said, declining to provide the size of each stake in Cambridge Associates.

Sofina is a listed company on the Brussels stock exchange that is majority-owned by the Boer family, said Wauthier de Bassompierre, a company spokesman.

Sofina periodically invests in minority stakes in private companies in a variety of industries across the world. Cambridge is the firm's 20th such investment, Mr. de Bassompierre said.

Sofina's investment portfolio totaled €5.5 billion ($6.7 billion) as of April 30.

"The investment in Cambridge Associates is a further step in the deployment of our (investment) strategy that focuses on building long-term relationships with owners and management of growing and innovative businesses," said Harold Boel, Sofina's CEO, in a news release from Cambridge Associates.

Mr. Druley noted in the interview that "it's very powerful to have shareholders who share your vision and the mission of delivering great returns so our clients can have a positive impact on the world."

As of Dec. 31, Cambridge had $359 billion in assets under advisement for clients and $29.9 billion in assets under management.