Japanese firm Dai-Ichi Holdings will sell down its almost 20 per cent stake in US-listed fund manager Janus Henderson in a secondary share offer.
The news of Dai-Ichi’s exit from the Janus Henderson share register coincided with the fund manager’s full-year results that showed investors withdrawals of some US$24 billion over the 2020 calendar year.
Formed in 2017 in a merger between Janus Capital and the Henderson Group, the active manager has struggled to retain assets ever since.
Dai-Ichi owns about 17 per cent of Janus Henderson in a stake valued about US$900 million. Janus Henderson will buy as much as US$230 million of its own stock (to be cancelled post sale) with the remainder out to market in an offer run by Goldman Sachs.
According to Bloomberg, the Dai-Ichi move was a blow to Janus Henderson coming “just months after activist shareholder Trian Fund Management LP disclosed 9.9% stakes in Janus Henderson and U.S. firm Invesco Ltd”.
“Trian Chief Executive Officer Nelson Peltz said in October that asset managers need more scale to compete with the likes of BlackRock Inc., and that he expected more deals in the industry,” Bloomberg reported.
Janus Henderson manages about US$400 billion across a number of active strategies including equities, fixed income, quantitative equities, multi-asset and alternative assets. The manager has relatively little exposure in NZ although the Janus Henderson Global Natural Resources Fund has some following among financial advisers here.
Dai-Ichi and Janus Henderson “entered a new strategic co-operation agreement”, a release announcing the deal says, that includes “many provisions similar to those of the prior agreement, absent the capital commitment, and reflects the evolution of the companies’ strategic relationship”.
According to the statement, Dai-Ichi had made a “strategic decision” to concentrate on its global insurance business.
Dick Weil, Janus Henderson chief, said: “Although we are disappointed to lose Dai-ichi as a shareholder, today’s
news does not change the path that Janus Henderson is on to deliver Simple Excellence across our business.”
The 2017 merger brought the US-centric Janus together with the UK and European strengths of Henderson, which was briefly part of the AMP group. Janus also scored a major coup in 2014 when it hired PIMCO founder, Bill Gross.
Gross, who left PIMCO on acrimonious terms, ran an unconstrained global fixed income fund under the Janus (then Janus Henderson) flag until he retired in 2019.