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A&O Advises Macquarie on $1.7 billion Acquisition of Waddell & Reed Financial, Inc.

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Besen Stephen
Stephen Besen

Partner

New York

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03 December 2020

Allen & Overy (“A&O”) has advised Macquarie Asset Management, the asset management division of Macquarie Group (ASX: MQG; ADR: MQBKY), on its agreement to acquire Waddell & Reed Financial, Inc. (NYSE: WDR), one of the oldest asset and wealth management companies in the U.S., for an equity value of approximately $US1.7 billion. 

In connection with the transaction, A&O also advised Macquarie on the simultaneous sale of Waddell & Reed’s wealth management platform to LPL Financial Holdings Inc. (Nasdaq: LPLA) (“LPL”), through which Macquarie will enter into a long-term partnership with LPL. LPL is a leading U.S. retail investment advisory firm and the nation’s largest independent broker/dealer, and through the partnership, Macquarie will become one of LPL’s top tier strategic asset management partners.

As a result of the transaction, Macquarie’s assets under management are expected to increase to over $US465 billion, with the combined business becoming a top 25 U.S. mutual fund manager by assets under management. Last year, the A&O team advised Macquarie on its acquisition of Foresters Financial’s mutual fund management business and the assets of its First Investors funds, with the acquired assets becoming part of the Delaware Funds by Macquarie product lineup.

U.S. M&A partner Stephen Besen, who led the A&O team advising Macquarie, commented: “We are grateful to our clients at Macquarie for the opportunity to counsel the business through these transactions that will position Macquarie for even greater opportunity well into the future. This deal leveraged the multi-disciplinary strengths of the Allen & Overy U.S. platform, bringing together specialists in M&A, regulatory, tax, and other key practice areas. I’m grateful to have such a depth of talented attorneys to call on.”

The transaction is expected to close by Q2 2021 subject to regulatory approvals, Waddell & Reed Financial stockholder approval and other customary closing conditions.

The A&O deal team was led by M&A partner Stephen Besen, regulatory partner Chris Salter, tax partner Dave Lewis, employment partner Brian Jebb, sanctions partner Ken Rivlin, antitrust partner Elaine Johnston, banking partner Jin Hee Kim and regulatory partner Bill Satchell. The team was also supported by senior counsel Hilary Sunghee Seo, Shira Selengut, Sheena Paul and Larry Rouslin, senior associate Keren Livneh and associates Loren Thomas, Devin Spencer, Brian Daley, Blaine Roth, John Hibbard, Natalie Montano Young, Kuang Chiang, Pierce Young, Puja Patel, Kyle Coogan and Derek Manners.

For further information, please contact Kris Cole in New York at pro-a&o@prosek.com or 310-614-9208.