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BlackRock to acquire Credit Suisse ETF business

BlackRock to acquire Credit Suisse ETF business

BlackRock has struck a deal to buy Credit Suisse’s exchange traded fund (ETF) business.

The amount the US investment firm paid for the business was not disclosed with the deal, which remains subject to regulatory approval, expected to be completed by the second quarter.

Credit Suisse runs a 58-strong ETF business with a total of $17.6 billion in assets under management. The range includes an $8.7 billion range of nine funds domiciled in Switzerland, along with funds domiciled in Luxembourg and Dublin.

The deal complements BlackRock’s existing iShares arm and will result in its ETF business swelling to 264 funds with $157.6 billion in assets under management based on end of 2012 figures.

The move complements BlackRock’s existing iShares business and increases its presence is Switzerland following its purchase of Swiss Re Private Equity Partners in 2012.

Commenting on the deal, BlackRock chairman Larry Fink (pictured) said in a statement: ‘The acquisition we are announcing today represents BlackRock’s continued commitment to the Swiss market and underpins the importance we place on meeting the needs of our clients.

‘This transaction keeps with BlackRock’s growth strategy in the region and provides the necessary scale and presence in the market to further enhance our product suite and deliver client solutions in Switzerland and all of Europe.’

Meanwhile iShares head of EMEA Joe Linhares added: Today’s agreement brings together the innovative culture of two premier ETF providers with a shared commitment to growing the ETF category. The transaction will significantly extend BlackRock’s footprint in Switzerland, which is home to one of the deepest investor bases in Europe.

‘Our long-term strategy is based on tapping growth markets in a disciplined way and deepening our presence with investors, and this acquisition will create an exceptional ETF platform with which to serve local investors and deliver value to shareholders.’

Credit Suisse will continue to be a key investor in the business and BlackRock will look to increase its ETF proposition following the acquisition.

Credit Suisse head of distribution for core investments Martin Keller said: ‘Credit Suisse will remain a large investor of ETFs through our private banking and wealth management division and will partner closely with BlackRock to broaden the ETF product offering for our clients. We believe that BlackRock is well positioned to realise the long-term value of our ETF business.’

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