The Blackstone Group and Corsair Capital, along with unnamed clients of the firms, have agreed to buy a majority of First Eagle Investment Management. The deal values the company at about $4 billion, including debt, Reuters News said. The family of John Arnhold, First Eagle’s chairman and CIO, are the sellers, along with TA Associates which has sold its entire minority stake. First Eagle manages about $100 billion in assets on behalf of institutional and individual clients.
NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–First Eagle Investment Management (“First Eagle” or the “Firm”) today announced a definitive agreement under which a majority long-term investment in First Eagle would be made by private equity funds managed by Blackstone (NYSE:BX) and Corsair Capital (“Corsair”) as well as clients of the two firms. The investment, which reflects a total enterprise value of approximately $4 billion, is designed to ensure that First Eagle will continue to operate independently and to maintain its investment-centric culture. Additionally, as a result of the transaction, First Eagle employees will have an opportunity to meaningfully increase their equity ownership in the Firm. The investment is being made through First Eagle’s holding company, Arnhold and S. Bleichroeder Holdings Inc. The transaction includes the sale by TA Associates of its entire investment in First Eagle.
First Eagle is an independent, privately-held asset management firm which manages approximately $100 billion in assets on behalf of institutional and individual clients. With the core purpose of providing prudent stewardship of its clients’ assets, the Firm is focused on fundamental, flexible and benchmark-agnostic investing, including strategies which seek to provide clients with downside protection. First Eagle’s investment capabilities include equity, fixed income and multi-asset strategies.
First Eagle’s senior management and investment leadership fully support the long-term investment by Blackstone and Corsair, will retain significant ownership in the Firm, and will continue to run the business on a day-to-day basis. The family shareholders, who are members of the founding Arnhold family (the “Family”), will remain substantial shareholders in First Eagle and will retain their role on the Board following the closing of the transaction. Blackstone and Corsair will exercise their oversight of the business at the Board level and will not be involved in the day-to-day management of the Firm.
Bridget Macaskill, President and Chief Executive Officer of First Eagle Investment Management, stated: “Through this agreement with Blackstone and Corsair, two successful long-term investors with whom First Eagle shares many cultural and philosophical beliefs, we have achieved our primary goals of remaining independent, preserving our investment-centric culture, and increasing employee ownership, while addressing the liquidity needs of current shareholders.”
John Arnhold, Chairman and Chief Investment Officer of First Eagle Investment Management, added: “The Family is pleased with the long-term stability that this investment provides the Firm and our clients. We look forward to maintaining our involvement with First Eagle and remaining one of the Firm’s largest clients.”
D.T. Ignacio Jayanti, Managing Partner of Corsair, said: “Corsair is excited to be investing in First Eagle and to be working with management, the investment teams and the Family to the benefit of all of First Eagle’s stakeholders. We are impressed with First Eagle’s ability to invest successfully for its clients through market cycles and establish itself as a premier specialist active asset management firm. Our investment is predicated on the belief that strategies offered by First Eagle will continue to be attractive to clients over the long-term.”
Joseph Baratta, Blackstone’s Global Head of Private Equity, said: “First Eagle is a first class asset management firm with excellent investment talent. As investors with deep knowledge of the asset management space, Blackstone understands and respects First Eagle’s culture and investment philosophy, and we recognize that preserving these is critical to the long-term success of the Firm. We will support First Eagle’s management and employees as they seek to provide outstanding investment performance and service to their clients.”
- Andrews McLane of TA Associates, said: “We are very pleased with the outcome of TA’s partnership with First Eagle. During this time of unprecedented market turbulence, we have been impressed with First Eagle’s prudent stewardship of its clients’ assets, and we believe that it is well positioned to prosper in the future. As we exit our investment, we would like to thank the management of First Eagle and the Family for their continued strong leadership in building value in First Eagle. Roger Kafker and I have enjoyed the opportunity to serve on the Board of First Eagle over the past eight years.”
The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2015 subject to receipt of consent by both First Eagle’s mutual fund board and fund shareholders, as well as customary regulatory approvals.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch served as financial advisor and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP served as legal counsel to the Firm. HSBC and Morgan Stanley served as financial advisors and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP served as legal counsel to Blackstone and Corsair.
About First Eagle
First Eagle Investment Management is an independent, privately-held asset management firm with approximately $100 billion in assets under management (as of June 30, 2015) and a heritage dating back to 1864. Over its long history, the Firm has helped its clients to preserve capital and earn attractive returns through widely varied economic cycles—a tradition that is central to its mission today. First Eagle is currently owned by the members of the Arnhold family, TA Associates and employees. For more information visit us at www.feim.com. First Eagle Investment Management is the adviser to First Eagle Funds.
Blackstone is one of the world’s leading investment firms. Blackstone seeks to create positive economic impact and long-term value for their investors, the companies they invest in, and the communities in which they work. Blackstone does this by using extraordinary people and flexible capital to help companies solve problems. Blackstone’s asset management businesses, with over $300 billion in assets under management, include investment vehicles focused on private equity, real estate, public debt and equity, non-investment grade credit, real assets and secondary funds, all on a global basis. Further information is available at www.blackstone.com. Follow Blackstone on Twitter @Blackstone.
About Corsair Capital
Corsair Capital, LLC, which includes a highly regarded global private equity platform, is a leading global investor in the financial services industry. Corsair has invested across a range of geographies and cycles, and in substantially all of the subsectors of the financial services industry including payments, insurance, asset management, depository institutions, and specialty finance in North America, Western Europe, and the Emerging Markets of Asia, Latin America and Central Europe. More information about Corsair Capital may be accessed through the website www.corsair-capital.com.
About TA Associates
Founded in 1968, TA Associates is one of the oldest and most experienced global growth private firms. TA has invested in more than 450 companies around the world and has raised over $18 billion in capital. The firm leads buyouts and minority recapitalizations of profitable growth companies in the technology, financial services, business services, healthcare and consumer industries. TA has been a leading investor in the asset management industry for more than 25 years, with 17 investments made in asset management firms to date. More information about TA Associates can be found at www.ta.com.