A giant, publicly traded bank may have been close to buying a publicly traded, $57-billion-AUM ETF shop last year.
Late in 2018 the teams at J.P. Morgan
] and WisdomTree
] talked about the former buying the latter, but the talks fell through in December over price disagreements, Bloomberg reports
, citing unnamed sources. The article does not reveal what prices the two sides were pushing, nor does it mention any bankers or other bidders involved in the talks.
Spokespeople for both companies declined to comment to the publication.
One source tells Bloomberg
that WisdomTree is no longer on the block, at least for now. Like most asset managers, WisdomTree's AUM took a hit last year (it's down to $57.252 billion as of yesterday at market close), and unsurprisingly its shares price is down about 40 percent year-over-year. It's market cap is down to about $951.703 million
The WisdomTree-J.P. Morgan courtship, and its failure amidst rough markets, is reminiscent of another J.P. Morgan asset management
acquisition that fell through more than a decade ago during the financial crisis.
At least one professional WisdomTree watcher sees the New York City-based ETF shop as an appetizing acquisition target. Last night Craig Siegenthaler
, managing director and senior equity research analyst at Credit Suisse
, reacted to the J.P. Morgan-WisdomTree deal talk report by telling investors that he and his team "believe that a large financial services firm with global distribution and a sizable wealth manager would make a perfect acquirer for WETF."
Neil Anderson, Managing Editor
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