Fisher Sells Stake of Up to $3 Billion to Advent, Abu Dhabi Fund

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(Bloomberg) — Private equity firm Advent International and a unit of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority are buying a minority stake in billionaire Ken Fisher’s Fisher Investments worth as much as $3 billion.

The transaction, in which the acquirers will invest at least $2.5 billion, values closely held Fisher at $12.75 billion, the money-management firm said Sunday in a statement. The deal is part of Ken Fisher’s estate planning, according to the company, and will let Fisher Investments continue to operate independently.

“While my health is excellent, this transaction with an atypically long holding period for a private equity transaction will ensure FI’s long-term private independence and culture should anything untoward happen to me,” Fisher, 73, said in the statement.

Bloomberg News and the Journal reported in January that Advent had held talks to acquire Fisher, both citing people with knowledge of the matter. At that time, Fisher issued a statement saying, “Fisher Investments is not being bought by Advent International, or anyone else — plain and simple.” Advent issued a similar denial of the January reports.

Fisher Investments oversees $275 billion for more than 150,000 clients including individuals and institutions, the firm said in its statement Sunday. 

Ken Fisher founded the closely held firm in 1979, and last year moved its headquarters to the Dallas suburb of Plano, Texas, after the highest court in Washington state said a capital gains tax on wealthy residents was constitutional.

The San Francisco native has an estimated net worth of $5.2 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. 

Advent, which has made private equity bets since 1989, counts financial services among its areas of focus and has backed companies including Worldpay and Vantiv, its website shows. The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, a sovereign wealth fund, was established in 1976 and employs an investment strategy focused on long-term value, according to the Sunday statement.

The Wall Street Journal reported earlier Sunday that Advent was nearing a deal to buy a minority stake in Fisher.

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