CI Financial to acquire WisdomTree’s Canadian ETF business
Acquisition boosts CI’s ETF assets to $8.9 billion
TORONTO (November 7, 2019) – CI Financial Corp. (“CI”) (TSX: CIX) and WisdomTree Investments, Inc. (NASDAQ: WETF) of New York today announced an agreement under which CI will purchase all of the issued and outstanding shares of WisdomTree Asset Management Canada, Inc. (“WisdomTree Canada”), the investment fund manager of WisdomTree’s Canadian exchange-traded funds.
Upon completion of the transaction, CI will add 14 Toronto Stock Exchange-listed ETFs with $958 million in assets (as of November 4, 2019) to its current ETF family. The WisdomTree Canada ETFs will be rebranded CI WisdomTree ETFs and WisdomTree will continue as the index provider for the WisdomTree Canada ETFs that currently track WisdomTree’s proprietary indexes.
“As Canadians increasingly adopt the ETF structure, the addition of WisdomTree’s Canadian operations will expand our lineup of mandates and increase the scale of our ETF business, which is critically important in providing investors with efficient, effective investment choices,” said CI Chief Executive Officer Kurt MacAlpine.
“Notably, this acquisition gives us additional investment management capabilities through WisdomTree’s fundamentally weighted approach to indexing, which will be a strong complement to the CI First Asset ETF lineup.
“We will be maintaining the existing lineup of WisdomTree ETFs with no changes to their current investment objectives and strategies,” said Mr. MacAlpine. “The CI WisdomTree funds will represent a distinct offering within our overall ETF business.”
CI will have ETF assets under management of approximately $8.9 billion following the acquisition, based on asset levels as of November 4, 2019. CI’s ETF business has grown rapidly since it acquired First Asset Investment Management in November 2015 with $3 billion in assets.
The acquisition is expected to close in the first quarter of 2020, subject to regulatory approval, including approval of unitholders of the WisdomTree Canada ETFs. Consideration for the transaction will range from $7 million to $13 million in cash, depending on the achievement of certain assets under management growth targets over the next three years. Five million dollars will be paid upfront, subject to purchase price adjustments at closing.
About CI Financial
CI Financial Corp. (TSX: CIX) is an independent Canadian company offering global asset management and wealth management advisory services. CI held approximately $178 billion in fee-earning assets as of October 31, 2019. Its primary operating businesses are CI Investments Inc., Assante Wealth Management (Canada) Ltd., CI Private Counsel LP, GSFM Pty Ltd., WealthBar Financial Services Inc., and BBS Securities Inc. Further information is available at www.cifinancial.com.
This press release contains forward-looking statements concerning anticipated future events, results, circumstances, performance or expectations with respect to CI Financial Corp. (“CI”) and its products and services, including its business operations, strategy and financial performance and condition. Forward-looking statements are typically identified by words such as “believe”, “expect”, “foresee”, “forecast”, “anticipate”, “intend”, “estimate”, “goal”, “plan” and “project” and similar references to future periods, or conditional verbs such as “will”, “may”, “should”, “could” or “would”. These statements are not historical facts but instead represent management beliefs regarding future events, many of which by their nature are inherently uncertain and beyond management’s control. Although management believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, such statements involve risks and uncertainties. The material factors and assumptions applied in reaching the conclusions contained in these forward-looking statements include that the investment fund industry will remain stable and that interest rates will remain relatively stable. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from expectations include, among other things, general economic and market conditions, including interest and foreign exchange rates, global financial markets, changes in government regulations or in tax laws, industry competition, technological developments and other factors described or discussed in CI’s disclosure materials filed with applicable securities regulatory authorities from time to time. The foregoing list is not exhaustive and the reader is cautioned to consider these and other factors carefully and not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. Other than as specifically required by applicable law, CI undertakes no obligation to update or alter any forward-looking statement after the date on which it is made, whether to reflect new information, future events or otherwise.
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