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31 Dec 2008

Hedge Fund Manager Acquires Long-only Fund Arm from Credit Suisse

Hedge fund manager, Aberdeen Asset Management PLC, has entered into an agreement with Credit Suisse to acquire their £40 billion ($58 billion) long-only asset management arm, making Aberdeen the the UK’s largest listed fund manager.

Credit Suisse sold the fund arm for approximately 240 million shares in Aberdeen, valued at £250 million ($363 million). The closing of the deal is to take place on 30 June 2009, subject to shareholder and regulatory approval.

Aberdeen’s largest hedge fund shareholder, Martin Hughes, Chief Executive of Toscafund, said, “Toscafund has already confirmed its support for this transformational acquisition, which has been made possible by the excellent operating platform offered by Aberdeen. Toscafund believes that the transaction is of clear benefit to the clients and shareholders of Aberdeen Asset Management and Credit Suisse.”

The acquired business is a long-only traditional asset manager with a leading presence in Europe, Asia and Australasia. It offers a broad product range, diversified predominantly across fixed income, money market and equities, with a variety of investment styles that will be integrated into Aberdeen’s investment processes. Its products are sold primarily to third party clients, with a significant minority of assets sourced through Credit Suisse’s Private Banking division, one of the world’s largest wealth managers.

Aberdeen has agreed an extension of the existing distribution agreement with Credit Suisse, this will give Aberdeen greater access to the banking network of Credit Suisse.

With the new acquisition, Aberdeen has opportunity to achieve greater scale in certain markets where the Group already has a presence, such as the UK, Australia, Germany, Switzerland and Japan. The Acquisition will also strengthen Aberdeen’s offering in certain product areas

“The acquisition confirms Aberdeen’s position as a leading global asset manager and provides us with greater access to the distribution network of Credit Suisse and its Private Banking division, one of the world’s largest wealth managers." Martin Gilbert, Chief Executive of Aberdeen, said, “This transaction fits perfectly within our strategy, a key part of which has been to make earnings enhancing acquisitions which give the business critical mass in our core competencies, complementing our organic growth."

“Given our proven track record of integrating businesses, we are well placed to ensure a smooth transition of the Credit Suisse assets to Aberdeen. We look forward to welcoming our new colleagues and clients, and also to welcoming Credit Suisse as a significant shareholder in Aberdeen. We believe that this transaction will be for the long-term benefit of all our shareholders.”

Silk Invest / Danfonds Team to Launch 2 new Hedge Funds

Specialist asset management firm, Silk Invest Ltd, has acquired Danfonds Frontier Fund SPC., a Cayman based hedge fund, in an all equity deal, Silk Invest also bought majority share in Danfonds Frontier Fund SPC, which will be renamed Silk Invest Frontier Fund SPC, Danfonds Investment Management (Cayman) Limited will be renamed Silk Invest (Cayman) Limited.

The new team will launch two Luxembourg UCITS funds, African Lions and Arab Falcons, in the first quarter of 2009. The Silk Invest Frontier Fund SPC will be relaunched in the second quarter of 2009 after finalizing the new offering memorandum and the various counterparty agreements.

Zin Bekkali, CEO of Silk Invest, comments that “the deal is a uniquely structured combination of talents that complements our new African and Middle Eastern fund platform.” Following the transaction, Daniel Broby, CEO of Danfonds, will become the Chief Investment Officer of Silk Invest.

Daniel Broby says that the deal “is perfectly timed from an investor perspective. There is now immense opportunity in frontier markets as a resultof the dramatic declines caused by the credit crisis; to which these economies are partially immune.”

Dr Heinz Hockmann, the Chairman of Silk Invest, notes that “The synergies between the Silk African Lions Fund, the Silk Arab Falcons Fund and the Danfonds Frontier Fund were immediately obvious. Our aim was always to become the most credible frontier markets specialist. With this deal we can demonstrate to our investors, more than ever, that we have an unrivalled frontier markets team, managing a unique investment offering across different asset classes.”