* New firm to oversee $9.8 bln in assets
* Both partners have deep value investing roots
BOSTON, April 28 (Reuters) - Investment managers Horizon Asset Management Inc and Kinetics Asset Management Inc, known for their taste in inexpensive stocks, plan to merge into a single company to better target large and small investors.
Horizon Kinetics LLC, as the the new firm will be known, will oversee $9.8 billion in assets when the merger becomes official on May 1, the two companies said on Thursday.
No terms were given.
“In a way, we are merging with ourselves,” said Murray Stahl, who co-founded Horizon in 1994 and will be chief investment officer and chairman at the new company. “The two companies were founded around the same time, by the same people and have always shared an investment philosophy,” he said.
Horizon and Kinetics are becoming one to offer clients a more comprehensive and simplified platform where Main Street investors as well as pension funds will find portfolios tailored to them, said Stahl and Doug Kramer, the new company’s chief executive.
Previously most Kinetics funds catered to retail investors who could put in as little as $2,500 to invest. Horizon, which counts AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company as a client, focused more on wealthier clientele, requiring investment minimums of at least $250,000.
The firms both have deep roots in finding undervalued stocks like auto parts store AutoZone (AZO.N) and retailer Sears SHLD.O and having the patience to stick with them for some time.
The Kinetics Paradigm Fund, for example has returned an average 9.07 percent every year since its launch on January, 2000, handily beating the Standard & Poor’s 0.91 percent return during the same time period. Horizon’s core Value fund has delivered an average annual return of 11.3 percent per year since January 1996, also outpacing the broader stock market where the S&P climbed an average annual rate of 7.1 percent. (Reporting by Svea Herbst-Bayliss; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)