Natixis will acquire a 51.9% stake in the Australian firm, with the deal expected to close this month.
Having set up an office in Sydney in 2015, Natixis’ acquisition of IML marks the firm’s first major purchase in Australia.
An equities value manager, IML was founded in 1998 and manages around A$9.1bn in assets.
After the acquisition, IML’s management team will remain shareholders in the business and Anton Tagliaferro, IML’s investment director, will continue to run the business.
Under Natixis’ multi-affiliate strategy, IML will retain its autonomy, investment philosophy and culture, according to a joint statement.
Superfunds look offshore
Australian superannuation funds plan to increase their exposure outside of the country, according to a report from Boston-based research firm Cerulli Associates.
“International managers in particular stand to gain from the inevitable increase in allocation overseas,” the report said.
“Managers seeking mandates must understand the distinctive dynamics around different areas of the super industry, including the important role that investment consultants play as gatekeepers, and must stay abreast of constantly tweaked regulations.”
The sector, which has assets of around A$2.32trn, is growing relentlessly as domestic laws require employers to put the equivalent of 9.5% of every employee’s salary into a superannuation plan.
Given the size of the sector, super funds have to invest more overseas, partly because Australia does not offer all asset classes, according to Cerulli.