February 15, 2013 / 5:11 AM / 6 years ago

Japan's Orix to buy Rabobank asset management arm for about $2.6 bln -sources

TOKYO, Feb 15 (Reuters) - Japanese financial services firm Orix Corp will buy Dutch asset manager Robeco from its owner Rabobank for about 240 billion yen ($2.6 billion) in a cash and stock deal, sources familiar with the matter said on Friday.

The companies are scheduled to sign and announce the deal early next week, said the sources, who were not authorised to discuss the matter publicly.

The deal will be the biggest acquisition ever by Orix, a diversified financial services company whose businesses include leasing, life insurance, real estate and corporate lending, as well as a professional baseball team.

Under the deal, Orix will pay Rabobank in cash and its own stock, the sources said. Orix will not issue new shares for the deal. As the result of the transaction, Rabobank will own around 2 percent of the Japanese company’s shares.

Rabobank will retain about a 10 percent stake in Robeco, whose management will remain in place after the acquisition, the source said.

As of Sept. 30, Robeco’s assets under management totalled 188 billion euros ($251 billion).

Goldman Sachs Group Inc advised Orix on the deal, JP Morgan was the adviser for Robeco and Barclays Plc advised Rabobank.

Japanese banks, brokerage houses and life insurance companies are increasingly looking to acquire overseas asset management businesses, which are considered a relatively stable source of revenue compared with more volatile trading operations.

Rabobank, a Dutch cooperative bank that is returning to its roots lending to local farmers, said last April it was reviewing strategic options for Robeco after it lost its triple-A credit rating from Standard & Poor’s in November 2011.

Rabobank sold its majority stake in private Swiss bank Sarasin for 1.04 billion Swiss francs ($1.13 billion) in 2011.

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