Japanese financial services company Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG) has completed the purchase of First State Investments from the Commonwealth Bank of Australia for $2.7bn (€2.4bn).

The deal was announced in October last year after the Australian bank said it intended to demerge its wealth management and mortgage broking businesses.

First State, which manages $155.1bn in assets globally, will become part of Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of MUFG.

It ranked 110th in IPE’s ranking of the largest managers of European institutional assets, according to the 2019 Top 400 Asset Managers survey, with €11.4bn.

In addition, First State ranked as the 15th largest infrastructure manager globally, with €14.9bn of assets under management, according to IPE Real Assets’ Top 75 Infrastructure Managers survey.

According to a press release published earlier today, First State Investments is to operate as a standalone business overseen by a board formed from First State and Mitsubishi senior staff, with independent non-executives to be added “in the coming year”.

Mark Steinberg, First State Investments’ CEO, said: “Under MUFG ownership, we will have the financial backing and shared strategic vision to enable us to become an even stronger global investment manager.

“Our investment teams will continue to enjoy their current levels of investment autonomy, which has underpinned the business’ strong growth and long-term performance. Importantly, their commitment to incorporating ESG principles across their processes and strategies will remain central to their investment approach.”

Mikio Ikegaya, president and CEO of Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking, added: “From the outset, we have regarded First State Investments as a well-recognised global business, synonymous with first-class investment professionals and strong fund performance.

“We are committed to supporting First State Investments’ strategy of delivering high-quality investment capabilities and establishing and maintaining strong client relationships. We look forward to working with First State Investments as we continue to expand our investment management business and investment offerings globally.”