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Apex sees off SS&C in Mainstream acquisition battle

AcquisitionFund services group Apex has acquired fund administrator Mainstream Group, prevailing over fellow fund services provider SS&C in a months-long bidding battle.

Apex’s offer of A$2.80 (€1.78) per share amounted to €263 million and was accepted by the Mainstream board. The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter.

The purchase of Australia-based Mainstream, which also has a significant presence in the Irish market, means that Apex now has nearly €1.2 billion in assets under administration.

The announcement brings to an end a bidding war between two highly acquisitive service providers.

A bid of €171 million from SS&C was recommended by the Mainstream board in late April but was then bettered by Apex a few days later.

SS&C dropped out of the bidding in late June, leaving the path clear for Apex.

According to Mainstream CEO Martin Smith, Apex’s track record in integrating its acquisitions was a key factor in approving the deal.

The fund services sector has also received great interest from private equity groups in the last year as more fund managers look to delegate management and operational functions to third parties.

Specialist fund administrator Sanne Group is currently in talks with private equity firm Cinven about a takeover. Sanne had earlier turned down a €1.6 billion bid from Cinven in May.

Meanwhile earlier in July, management company provider Waystone secured a “significant” investment from Montagu Private Equity.

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