AMG buys Pantheon in $775m MBO

The global private equity investor has changed hands for the second time in six years.

Asset management group Russell Investments has sold Pantheon Ventures, the $22 billion private equity fund of funds and secondaries manager, to Affiliated Managers Group (AMG), a New York-listed asset management business.

There was “quite some competition” among the potential buyers for Pantheon, said one source close to the process, with interest expressed by organisations from within the private equity industry as well as the wider financial services sector. Pantheon declined to comment on the sale process, when or why it had been initiated.

AMG will pay around $775 million cash with the potential for additional payments over the next five years, the firm said in a statement Wednesday.

Following the transaction, Pantheon’s management team will own a “significant stake” in the partnership, the statement said. Prior to the deal, the business was owned 100 percent by Russell Investments. Russell purchased the 26-year-old Pantheon in 2004.

Pantheon currently manages funds of funds and secondaries funds in Europe, the US and Asia. It has approximately $22 billion under management.

AMG owns stakes in a number of investment management firms under a “partnership approach” whereby each subsidiary is part-owned by management and retains operational autonomy. Last week it purchased BNP Paribas’ Artemis Investment Management, a UK fund manager, for an undisclosed sum. Pantheon is AMG’s first private equity-focused acquisition.

There will be no changes to personnel at Pantheon as a result of the transaction, a spokesman for the firm said.