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AMP and Ares to Pursue JV for AMP Capital’s Private Markets Businesses

February 26, 2021, 07:30 AM
Filed Under: Private Equity

AMP Limited and Ares Management Corporation announced that they have entered into a non-binding Heads of Agreement to pursue the formation of a joint venture for AMP Capital’s private markets businesses of infrastructure equity and infrastructure debt, real estate and other minority investments (“Private Markets”).

Under the proposed transaction, Ares would acquire 60 per cent of Private Markets and assume management control, with AMP retaining 40 per cent. AMP and Ares will enter into a 30-day period of exclusivity, to work towards a binding transaction.

The partnership would facilitate an acceleration of the growth of Private Markets, while unlocking immediate value for AMP shareholders. Ares, with a current market capitalisation of more than US$13 billion1, has a global footprint and capabilities in credit, private equity and real estate which are highly complementary to Private Markets.

The key components of the proposed transaction are as follows:

A Private Markets joint venture valued at A$2.25 billion (excluding retained assets and contingent consideration outlined below) with Ares acquiring 60 per cent for A$1.35 billion and AMP retaining the residual 40 per cent (A$0.90 billion).

The Private Markets joint venture businesses will include:

  • Infrastructure equity
  • Infrastructure debt
  • Real estate
  • Other minority investments.

AMP to retain up to A$0.9 billion of assets and contingent consideration related to the current private markets businesses comprising:

  • Seed and sponsor and related investments of approximately A$0.5 billion
  • Surplus capital released of A$0.1 billion; and
  • Contingent consideration of up to A$0.3 billion related to future performance including carried interest from existing funds.

Total implied value for AMP Capital’s existing private markets business of up to A$3.15 billion.

AMP will retain ownership of AMP Capital’s public markets businesses, which in FY 20 made a modest NPAT contribution. The public markets strategy will continue, including the Multi-Asset Group (“MAG”) being transformed and transferred to AMP Australia, and actively exploring sale or partnership opportunities for the Global Equities and Fixed Income (“GEFI”) business.

The joint venture is expected to raise A$0.5 billion of debt to maximise capital efficiency which would reduce the pro rata equity contributions for each party in the joint venture. Therefore, under this assumption, Ares would fund A$1.05 billion in equity to the joint venture and AMP would receive expected gross cash proceeds of up to A$1.55 billion (before separation costs and capital release).

The board of the Private Markets joint venture would initially comprise 10 board seats with six nominees from Ares and four from AMP.

Ares and AMP to have structured call and put options, respectively, in relation to AMP’s residual holdings in Private Markets, commencing after five years.

The joint venture would enable the Private Markets business to benefit from Ares’ brand and global strengths in investment and distribution as well as already strong infrastructure and real estate capabilities, and continue to build upon AMP Capital’s well-established processes and investment capabilities, improving its scale and potential growth trajectory. At 31 December 2020, Ares had US$197 billion in assets under management (AUM), after growing both AUM and fee-related earnings in excess of 30 per cent over the year and fundraising a record US$41.2 billion2. Ares managed US$18.3 billion in infrastructure and real estate AUM with over 100 investment professionals in North America and Europe.

The proposed partnership would enable AMP shareholders to benefit from both the anticipated accelerated growth of Private Markets through its 40 per cent shareholding, as well as realising value from Private Markets’ growth to date. Ares shareholders would benefit from the strategic global expansion of its infrastructure and real estate strategies which would total to over US$60 billion in total AUM, as of 31 December 2020 on a pro forma basis.

If agreed, the transaction will be subject to regulatory approvals, an Independent Expert’s Report, approval by AMP’s shareholders and other customary conditions precedent, including change of control approvals. AMP shareholders do not need to take any action at this stage.

The proposed transaction will mark the conclusion of AMP’s portfolio review.

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