LSE-listed firm agrees to buy Mauritian firm for $127m

SANNE, a specialist global provider of outsourced corporate, fund and private client administration, reporting and fiduciary services, based in Jersey, has agreed a $127.3 million acquisition of International Financial Services (IFS), a leading Mauritius-based provider of fund and corporate administration services to corporates and alternative asset managers.

The company, established in 1988, is listed on the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange with a market capitalisation of approximately $700 million.

 In a regulatory news announcement recently, SANNE said that it had entered into an agreement to acquire the entire share capital of IFS. The consideration will be settled in a mixture of cash, financed from the proceeds of a capital raising, and SANNE shares. The acquisition is expected to be immediately earnings enhancing and is conditional upon receiving, among other things, SANNE shareholder approval and certain regulatory clearances. The transaction is expected to complete in early January 2017.

This acquisition enables SANNE to further realise its ambition of building a leading global business,” said Dean Godwin, Chief Executive Officer of Sanne Group plc.

“IFS is highly profitable, with a service offering and client base extremely complementary to SANNE’s. Mauritius is one of the leading international financial centres for foreign investment into Africa and India and this transaction provides us with a significant platform to both support clients in these attractive regions and grow our emerging markets presence.” Godwin added.

IFS was established in 1993 by Couldip Lala and Dev Joory, two pioneers of the Mauritian offshore management industry, who grew the business to become one of the largest in the sector. IFS employs 260 employees in Mauritius, provides services to over 1,000 entities and administers assets in excess of $ 87 billion.

Commenting on the deal, Couldip Lala, Founder Director of IFS expressed excitement at becoming part of SANNE, a gobally recognised organisation, whose high quality client services “blends with our strategy of geographical, product and services diversification”.

“Our professional staff will benefit from knowledge-sharing across jurisdictions and strive to build expertise in different products and services. Our clients will continue to be provided with services they have become accustomed to and can now take advantage of SANNE’s range of institutionally-focused fund and corporate administration and reporting services available in other jurisdictions as well.”

MCB Capital Markets, the investment banking arm of MCB Group, the largest banking group in Mauritius, is acting as Transaction Advisor to SANNE on the deal. Rony Lam, Chief Executive Officer of MCB Capital Markets said: “We are proud to be acting as Transaction Advisor to a large UK listed company on such a major strategic move. I believe it is the first time that a Mauritian investment bank has orchestrated and successfully executed a cross-border inward M&A transaction of this size and complexity. This reinforces our position to advise sophisticated clients who wish to start or grow their operations in Africa.”