Perpetual Trust to merge with Guardian Trust in $68.5m Milford Asset-backed deal

Perpetual Trust will merge with trustee company Guardian Trust after Australian investment manager Perpetual, an unrelated firm, sold Guardian for $68.5 million.

Newly formed Complectus bought Guardian Trust and will integrate the firm's assets with Perpetual Trust, which is owned by Andrew Barnes's Bath Street Capital. The Milford Active Growth Wholesale Fund will co-own the new firm. The sale was executed and settled on today for 100 percent cash.

Barnes will run the new company as managing director, while former Tower chief Rob Flannagan has been appointed chairman.

"We see strong benefits in integrating the two businesses, and we will be injecting new thinking and ideas into our services for our clients," Barnes said in a statement.

The sale of Guardian Trust marks the fourth owner for the firm in as many years, since Suncorp sold it for A$42 million to The Trust Co in 2010, which was itself taken over last year by Perpetual. Barnes completed his purchase of Perpetual Trust for $12.3 million in January.

Guardian Trust has some 2,800 clients, with $60 billion of funds under supervision, and $2.7 billion in funds under management. Perpetual Trust has about 2,300 clients, with $1.6 billion in funds under management.

(BusinessDesk)

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