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Legg Mason to buy Martin Currie

Legg Mason to buy Martin Currie

Legg Mason is set to buy Martin Currie, adding to its stable of boutiques.

The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter. While the financial terms were not disclosed, Legg Mason said it expected the deal to be 'slightly accretive' to its earnings in the first year.

'With offices in six locations, Martin Currie expands Legg Mason's product capabilities in active equity strategies including Global Equity, Global Emerging Markets, Asian Equity, European Equity and strategies specifically focused on Japan and China,' the company said in a statement.

Martin Currie will become an affiliate of Legg Mason, alongside Brandywine Global, ClearBridge Investments, The Permal Group, QS Investors, Royce & Associates and Western Asset Management.

The senior management team have 'signed new long term contracts in conjunction with the transaction providing continued strength and stability', the company added.

'We believe Legg Mason is the ideal strategic partner to grow our business further and will position us as the strategic international equities specialist in one of the most powerful independent investment management companies globally,' Willie Watt (pictured), Martin Currie chief executive, explained.

'Most importantly for our clients, the partnership gives us investment and operational autonomy, and this means our client proposition remains unchanged,' . 

"In partnership with Legg Mason we will have efficient access to new markets and client segments through their market-leading and sizeable retail distribution network as well as valuable seed capital which will allow us to be at the forefront of new product innovation.'

Edinburgh-based Martin Currie was founded more than 130 years ago.

It was hit by a large fine two years ago over failures in China and has seen assets under management decline, although profitability has improved in recent years.

'Martin Currie's active international equity capabilities fill our largest product gap and are a perfect complement to our existing investment capabilities. Joe Sullivan, president and CEO of Legg Mason said

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