SPARX Asset Management, is to expand its presence in Asia by combining forces with PMA Capital Management of Hong Kong.

SPARX is Japan's only listed independent investment manager, while PMA is the largest investment manager in the region outside of Japan. The transaction, which is pending prior to certain regulatory approvals, creates the single largest alternative investment firm in Asia - and one of the largest in the world - with more than USD 8 billion (approximately YEN 1 trillion) in alternative assets under management.

Under terms of an agreement signed yesterday, PMA will combine with the SPARX Group as a wholly owned member. As part of the transaction, PMA shareholders will receive consideration of USD 226.4 million consisting of cash and SPARX stock, with certain key PMA employees becoming significant shareholders of SPARX.

PMA will continue to operate its core business within the SPARX Group and its entire management team, led by Chief Executive Officer Farhat Malik, will remain in place in the combined firm.

'With an exceptional track record in terms of both performance and risk control, PMA has become one of the most innovative and respected fund management companies in the alternative investment space,' says Shuhei Abe, SPARX President & CEO. 'PMA's unrivaled knowledge of local markets and strong relationships with a client base composed of the world's most discerning institutional investors sets it apart from its peers. After working closely with PMA for four years, we are happy that their entire team, under Farhat, will be joining the SPARX Group.'

Speaking about the merger, Malik adds: 'We are excited to be able to add our skill set to the SPARX Group's growing asset management operations in Asia, and, in particular, to have the opportunity to lead the firm's investments in the credit and derivatives spheres. We look forward to building upon our combined business platform in Asia and contributing in a meaningful way to the SPARX Group's goal of becoming the most trusted and respected investment company in the world.'

Background notes: SPARX Asset Management Co Ltd. is a Tokyo-based Asian equity specialist with offices in New York, London, Hong Kong, Seoul, Honolulu and Bermuda. It has grown into Japan's leading independent asset manager since its inception in 1989.

PMA is a Hong Kong-headquartered alternative investment advisory and management services firm founded in 2002 with offices in Dubai and London and investments in all Asian markets outside of Japan.   


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