Ares Management has proposed to acquire 100% of Australian financial conglomerate AMP's shares, an AMP filing with the Australia Securities Exchange said Friday.
A statement by Sydney-based AMP said its board "has received an indicative, non-binding, conditional proposal" from Los Angeles-based alternatives investment manager Ares — which has $179 billion in assets under management and 25 offices around the globe — "to acquire 100% of the shares in AMP Ltd. by way of scheme of arrangement."
An AMP spokesman said further details, including how much Ares is offering to acquire AMP's shares, are not being disclosed.
In an 8-K filing Friday, Ares confirmed its “confidential non-binding indicative” bid for AMP, and noted, in passing, that any potential transaction could involve third party co-bidders. An Ares spokesman declined to comment beyond the filing.
AMP's filing said "discussions on the proposal are at a very preliminary stage and there is no certainty that a transaction will eventuate."
The company announced a portfolio review of its group assets and business on Sept. 2. According to its Friday filing, the firm "has received significant interest in its assets and businesses and is assessing a range of options in a considered and holistic manner, including continuing to pursue its three-year transformation strategy, with a focus on maximizing shareholder value."
AMP's revelation that Ares is looking to acquire its business resulted in a considerable boost for shareholder value as the week ended.
The company's stock surged almost 20% to A$1.53 ($1.08) Friday in a session that saw the broader market drop 0.6%, with trading volume surging to a 2020 high of 73.7 million shares.
The rebound brought AMP's year-to-date performance more in line with that of the benchmark index. At the close of trading Thursday, AMP's shares were down 28.5% for the year, well below the broader market's 10.8% decline. With Friday's pop, AMP narrowed the gap, down 14.5% for the year vs. the market's 11.3% decline.