The EBRD plans to invest up to PLN 50 million (€12 million equivalent) in the forthcoming IPO of Altus TFI S.A. on the Warsaw Stock Exchange. Altus is a privately held mutual fund and asset management company in Poland with more than PLN 5 billion of assets under management across 36 funds.
The proposed IPO is expected to be PLN 200-250 million in which the EBRD aims to have approximately 5 per cent shareholding in the company. It will be the Bank’s first equity investment in an asset management company in its countries of operations.
The EBRD’s investment will support Altus TFI in its transformation from a private to a publicly listed company with enhanced governance and transparency requirements. The EBRD plans to appoint an independent, experienced board member to assist in institutionalising the business and to provide guidance on corporate governance.
Furthermore, the EBRD’s investment will represent its continued commitment to supporting the development of Poland’s capital markets where asset management companies are expected to play an increasingly important role, particularly in the context of the recent pension reforms.
Nick Tesseyman, EBRD Managing Director, Financial Institutions, said: “EBRD’s investment will support the expansion of one of the fastest growing independent asset managers in Poland with a proven track record in investment performance and a strong commitment to corporate governance in both the Company and its investee companies. Altus’ strategy of market consolidation in a highly scalable asset management sector will be a key driver of the equity story.”
Piotr Osiecki of Altus TFI added: “The Framework Agreement with the EBRD is a token of confidence and trust in Altus TFI. We are delighted that a reputable financial institution such as the EBRD will participate in the IPO. We take it as a strong validation of Altus TFI’s business. Currently, we manage assets with an aggregate value of PLN 5 billion, which ranks us in the middle of the Polish TFI league table. With the capital raised in the IPO, we plan to scale up our business with a potential acquisition of a mid-sized investment fund manager. We are convinced that our experience and highly qualified investment management team will strengthen our market position.”
Since the beginning of its operations in 1991, the EBRD has invested almost €7 billion in Poland in more than 325 projects. In addition to its wide product range for banks and companies, in recent years the Bank has also built a growing portfolio of investments (both equity and debt) in the Polish financial sector, for which demand remains high.