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Mitsubishi UFJ to acquire First State

The Japanese firm is set to become the largest asset manager in Asia-Pacific.

Mitsubishi UFJ will be paying around $4bn ($2.88bn) to acquire Colonial First State Global Asset Management from the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, according to a statement from Mitsubishi UFJ Trust. The deal is expected to close in mid-2019.

The deal covers all Colonial First State’s operations globally, which include its businesses in Australia, Asia, the UK and the US. The firm manages around A$210bn ($151bn) in assets.

The deal will make the Japanese firm the largest asset manager in Asia-Pacific. Mitsubishi UFJ managed around $584.8bn as of the end of 2016, according to data from Willis Towers Watson. After the deal, it will be managing at least $730bn in assets, surpassing the current largest manager, Sumitomo Mitsui Trust.

Mitsubishi UFJ’s asset management business aims to become a global player with “significant presence overseas”, the firm said in the statement. To achieve this goal, the firm has been pursuing growth through acquisition and investment.

The Japanese firm’s asset management business does not have SFC- or MAS-authorised funds yet, according to FE data. However, it offers APAC- and Japan-focused Sicav funds in the European market.

Elsewhere, Mitsubishi UFJ has partnered with Manila-based Security Bank to launch its Asia Pacific ex-Japan Equity Stable Growth Fund via the feeder fund route.

Colonial First State, which manages global and regional products, already has 25 SFC-authorised funds for retail investors and 27 MAS-authorised funds for accredited investors, according to FE data.

Part of the Bonhill Group.