New Silkroutes to acquire 66% stake in European fund manager for US$2.6m

SINGAPORE - Mainboard-listed New Silkroutes Group (NSG) said on Thursday (Oct 19) that its unit, New Silkroutes Capital Pte Ltd (NSC), will acquire a 66 per cent stake in European fund manager Culross Global Holdings Ltd for US$2.6 million (S$3.5 million).

NSG said that with the acquisition, NSC will not only garner essential wealth management capabilities but will also be able to operate seamlessly in European time zones in key European cities.

Among other things, NSC will be responsible for raising funds to support the group's investments primarily in the energy and healthcare sectors.

"We have consistently been focused on building up the financial services capabilities of NSC," said Dr Goh Jin Hian, group CEO. "Think of NSC as NSG's financial dashboard, through which we will raise and allocate funds to support our energy, healthcare and real estate investments and projects. Some of this financial expertise will come from Culross Global, which has a significant representation in Europe's fund management industry."

Founded in 1992 out of London and now headquartered in Malta, Culross Global is an independent, absolute-return fund manager servicing institutional and high net worth investors. With offices in London, Switzerland and Malta, it is registered with the UK's Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) and the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) and has expertise investing in alternative investment products as well as foreign exchange, fixed income and equities, said NSG.

Culross Global launched its first fund, a macro thematic fund, in 2000 and has since rolled out three others: the Culross Absolute Defensive Fund, the PPF II Global Macro Fund, and the Culross H Fund. All its funds focus on capital preservation and liquidity, and seek to generate absolute returns with low correlations to traditional asset classes, said NSG.

NSG will pay US$2.6 million in cash and new shares as consideration for the acquisition, following which the target companies will operate under NSC's brand name. NSC will be one of the first Singapore-based investment companies with operating entities registered with FCA, FINMA and MFSA, said NSG.

Culross Global had US$2.2 million in net tangible assets and made US$1.0 million in after-tax profit in the financial year ended Dec 31, 2016.