Competition Commission approves Sanlam’s purchase of Catalyst Fund Managers

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Sanlam, a South African financial services group listed on the Johannesburg and Namibian Stock Exchange, has been given permission by the Competition Commission to purchase a majority stake in Catalyst Fund Managers, a Cape Town-based company that manages listed property investments for institutional and retail clients.

Sanlam noted that the deal would help its investments unit to diversify and strengthen its asset management capabilities. The company, which did not disclose the value of the acquisition, said “it provides Sanlam investments with the opportunity to partner with a credible and well respected business which has a compelling product offering”.

It was revealed that Sanlam Investment Holdings can go ahead with its acquisition of a 69 percent stake in Catalyst Fund Managers, as the Competition Commission had approved the deal without conditions. The Competition Commission said the deal was unlikely to reduce competition or the number of jobs in the industry.

Catalyst, which was founded in 2001, originally focused on managing South African listed property portfolios. However in 2007, the company started managing global portfolios. CEO of Catalyst, Michael Arbuthnot said “Catalyst Fund Managers executive management and staff support the change in shareholding”.

Nersan Naidoo, Sanlam Investments CEO, noted that Catalyst would “provide our clients with a compelling asset class as we search for alternative sources of performance”. The management of Sanlam Investment said it would acquire a 100 percent stake in an Irish business, CIG Fund Management Company “to complement the Sanlam’s group international investment management platform”. The company will be named Sanlam Asset Management Ireland and would manage all funds domiciled in Ireland.

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