TSB Bank would have paid over $50 million for the extra 23 per cent of Fisher Funds it acquired last week, based on a valuation published by another substantial shareholder in the funds management firm.
According to the liquidators report for Woodward Capital, as at September this year its 17.76 per cent stake in Fisher was valued at almost $40 million, implying a purchase price of just under $52 million for TSB’s increased holding.
Woodward Capital is an entity associated with the estate of Lloyd Morrison, founder of Wellington-based infrastructure investment firm Morrison & Co. Tim Brown, Morrsion & Co head of capital markets, said the Woodward Capital liquidation was part of an orderly wind-down of the Lloyd Morrison estate.
Brown said while Woodward Capital – which until about two years ago was owned by Morrison & Co – would have participated in the most recent sell-down to TSB it may have retained some Fisher shares.
Morrison & Co chief, Marko Bogoievski, and Liberato Petagna (a director on many associated Morrison entities) are listed among the Woodward directors. Petagna is also a Fisher Funds director.
Brown said he was unsure whether Petagna would remain on the Fisher board following the recent TSB buy-up.
TSB paid just under $33 million for its original 26.39 per cent of Fisher in 2013.
Hayden Wano, TSB Group chair, said the amount the bank paid for its increased stake – exercised as part of an option included in the 2013 agreement – in Fisher remained “confidential”.
“TSB Group has enjoyed its relationship with and investment in Fisher Funds and was pleased to exercise its option to buy additional shares, granted at the time of the Tower Investments purchase in April 2013,” Wano said.
Fisher reported a $22.4 million net profit over the 12 months to March 31 this year.
According to Wano, TSB did not intend “at this stage” to increase its shareholding in Fisher or seek greater control over the business’ direction.
“This increased shareholding is simply a financial transaction and TSB Group has not sought or been granted the opportunity to become more involved in the operations of Fisher Funds,” he said.
Wano said TSB would continue to sell Fisher products through its network.
“We are pleased that our clients have had, and continue to have the opportunity to participate in the Fisher Funds KiwiSaver scheme,” he said.
Fisher also paid out $77,000 in “introduction fees” and $6,000 in commission to TSB Bank over the 2014/15 year, the fund manager’s latest accounts show.
Fisher Funds was not available for comment.