French asset manager Oddo & Cie has launched a rival offer worth €760m for fund manager BHF Kleinwort Benson, beating the offer made in July by China’s Fosun International.

BHF Kleinwort Benson said it welcomed the higher bid by the French firm, which already holds 21.6% of the Brussels-listed company.

Oddo & Cie said it intended to launch a voluntary and conditional public takeover offer in cash, for all the shares it does not already hold, offering a price of €5.75 per share.

BHF Kleinwort Benson said it had already agreed sales with certain shareholders, giving it the certainty of holding more than 50% of the company’s shares.

The counter-bid follows the announcement on 24 July by Eastgate Billion (Luxembourg), a wholly owned unit of Bosun International, to make a takeover bid at €5.10 per share.

The takeover target said its board would make a formal response to the counter-bid once the final prospectus was available.

Oddo & Cie said it intended to expand in the euro-zone, and had decided not to keep its private banking activities in the UK and Channel Islands.

In other news, Rotterdam-based Robeco is opening its London office today in a move it described as the next stage of its work with clients in the UK.

Hester Borrie, head of global distribution and marketing and Robeco group management board member, said: “Building on our track record with clients in the UK, we are ready to be going to the next stage.”

Borrie said London was a key hub for the institutional and wholesale investment business globally.

Robeco has already announced the appointment of Mark Barry as head of UK and institutional business for Robeco UK.

The company said its Global Financial Institutions team, led by Nick Shaw, and Global Consultant Relations team, headed by Peter Walsh, would also be run out of the London office. 

These teams are now supported by six full-time staff, and this number is set to rise to 20 within the next two years.

Robeco said it now had around £5bn (€7bn) in assets under management from UK client mandates, as of the end of September 2015.

Lastly, Lyxor Asset Management and Och-Ziff Capital Management are launching an investment fund on Lyxor’s Alternative UCITS Platform.

The fund – the Lyxor/OZ US Equity Opportunities Fund – will concentrate on long and short investment opportunities in the US equity market, aiming for positive, absolute returns with low volatility.

The investment strategy will combine long-term fundamental views with “process-oriented expertise in corporate actions/events”, Lyxor said.

The fund will aim to take advantage of mispricings in situations involving various types of corporate actions, including mergers, spin-offs, management changes and recapitalisations.

Lyxor said it was continuing to diversify its UCITS platform and that Och-Ziff would now be the eighth alternative manager on it.