The sale of the Primonial management flagship is in full swing

The Bridgepoint investment fund may not cede full control from the independent asset manager.

Questions are emerging around the sale of the manager Primonial, acquirer with Amundi and Crédit Agricole de Coeur Défense.

The stock market shocks complicate consolidation in asset management. Primonial, the wealth management nugget of which Bridgepoint was studying the sale, could not change hands, corroborating sources. In January, the investment fund – a 56.2% shareholder alongside Crédit Mutuel Arkéa and management – commissioned JP Morgan and Rothschild to study the sale of the independent actor for an estimated value of around of 2 billion euros.

“All options are on the table”, we say today in the entourage of the manager. Large investment funds interested in a takeover – the names of Cinven or Eurazeo have been cited in the market – felt less comfortable after the integration of La Financière de l’Echiquier (LFDE) by Primonial half-March. “The results are more subject to the pressures of the equity markets and more volatile in this configuration”, estimates a buyer. The values ​​of the offers were thus not considered sufficient by the seller.

No pressure to sell

The operating profit of La Financière de l’Echiquier fell by 10% last year, “Like most management companies in 2018 given the market decline”, defends a source close to the manager. “Primonial would not have risen to 100% of the capital if there were particular concerns about LFDE”, adds the latter.

Bridgepoint, which entered the capital only two years ago, is also under no pressure to sell if the price does not meet its expectations. “The company is two years ahead of its business plan, is growing by 15 to 20% organically and is generating 175 million euros in EBITDA. The prospects of this unique player in asset management, both designer of management solutions and distributor, justify that Bridgepoint is ultimately keeping control ”, indicates a source close to the company.

Other options in sight

“Other capital-intensive options have arisen since, such as industrial alliances of foreign players interested in gaining a foothold in France or minority investors. She says.

All these schemes are still under study. “A selection of offers must be presented to management at the end of May, also supports another. The objective has always been to obtain additional resources to participate in the consolidation of the sector. There is no obligation to go to completion. “