F&C Shareholders Approve Bank Of Montreal Takeover

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The shareholders of F&C Asset Management plc (LON:FCAM) (OTCMKTS:FCAFY), an asset manager based in the United Kingdom, approved the takeover proposal of the Bank of Montreal (NYSE:BMO) (TSE:BMO) for 120p-a-share or £708 million.

According to Financial News, 99.6% of the shareholders of F&C Asset Management plc (LON:FCAM) (OTCMKTS:FCAFY) voted in favor of the transaction, which is higher than the required 75%.

Elliott did not vote

Elliott Management, the hedge fund headed by activist investor Paul Singer, did not vote for the approval of the takeover. The activist hedge fund acquired significant stake in F&C Asset Management plc (LON:FCAM) through derivative contracts known as “contracts for difference.”

Based on regulatory filings, Elliott has a 20.36% economic interest of the voting stock of F&C Asset Management plc (LON:FCAM). After learning that Elliott opted not to vote its stock in the deal, the holders of 58% of the shares of the British asset manager voted.

Elliott started building its stake in F&C Asset Management plc (LON:FCAM) last year prior to the Bank of Montreal (NYSE:BMO) (TSE:BMO) offering to take over the British asset manager. Last month, the activist hedge fund had an 11% stake in F&C and decided to acquire more shares last week bringing its economic interest to 20.36%.

F&C Asset Management – BMO deal does not represent good value

A separate report from Investment Week noted that Standard Life Plc (LON:SL) (OTCMKTS:SLFPF), the second-largest shareholder of F&C Asset Management plc (LON:FCAM) (OTCMKTS:FCAFY) believed that the Bank of Montreal (NYSE:BMO) (TSE:BMO)‘s takeover deal does not represent good value to investors, and indicated that it is open to a counter offer.

Kieran Poynter, the non-executive chairman of the British asset manager, previously stated that BMO’s deal provides “an attractive valuation for F&C shareholders and a positive outcome for employees and clients.”

Elliott could ignite a bidding war

Some observers in the investment industry speculated that Elliott could push a higher offer from Bank of Montreal (NYSE:BMO) (TSE:BMO) if it continues to increase its position in F&C Asset Management plc (LON:FCAM) (OTCMKTS:FCAFY). They also suggested that it might also encourage other Canadian banks to submit a competing offer.

Interested parties has the opportunity to submit a rival bid to take over F&C Asset Management plc (LON:FCAM) (OTCMKTS:FCAFY) until May 7. Some analysts believe that BMO’s deal will likely push through. 

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