Impax Asset Management has entered into an agreement to acquire the European assets of SKY Harbor, a fixed-income manager, the completion of which is subject to certain closing terms and conditions.

According to the asset management group, the acquisition marks an important step in its strategy to expand its fixed-income business and follows Impax’s agreement to buy the assets of Copenhagen-based Absalon Capital Management earlier this year.

US-based SKY Harbor is a specialist investment firm focused on the management of fixed-income corporate high-yield securities and leveraged loans for institutional investors, private wealth advisers and multi-asset managers, with approximately $4.2bn in assets under management (AUM), as of 30 June 2024.

SKY Harbor was an early adopter of the integration of sustainability risks and opportunities into its investment process, Impax said in a statement.

Impax has entered into an asset purchase agreement with SKY Harbor principally concerning the promotion, distribution and management of SKY Harbor’s European-based funds and mandates targeting short-duration high yield and broad high-yield strategies, including the US Short Duration Responsible HY strategy (launched in 2012), the Global Responsible HY strategy (launched in 2012), and the Global Short Maturity Responsible HY strategy (launched in 2018), which are distributed to clients and investors outside of the US.

As at 30 June 2024 these strategies had in aggregate approximately £1.6bn ($2bn) of AUM and advice.

The transaction also includes a share purchase agreement for Impax to acquire, subject to relevant approvals, Frankfurt-based SKY Harbor GmbH, a regulated entity that is responsible for the cross-border distribution of the strategies to clients and investors outside the US.

Following the completion of the acquisition, eight SKY Harbor team members including senior executives who have managed and supported SKY Harbor’s funds and mandates since their inception, will join Impax.

Upon completion of the acquisition, Impax will become the manager of the separate mandates and the investment manager and distributor of the SKY Harbor strategies, the names of which may be changed, subject to fund shareholder and regulatory approval.

Post the completion of the SKY Harbor and Absalon acquisitions, Impax will have pro forma total fixed-income AUM and advice of approximately £3.1bn as of 30 June 2024.

The Impax fixed-income investment team will include approximately 20 professionals, offering strategies in US core bonds, US core plus bonds, US high yield, global high yield, US short-duration high yield, global short-duration high yield, and emerging market corporate debt.

Ian Simm, founder and chief executive officer of Impax, said: “This transaction marks an important milestone in our strategy to expand Impax’s fixed income capabilities globally. Both founder-led specialist asset managers, SKY Harbor and Impax share a strong business culture and a complementary investment approach.”

He added: “The addition of SKY Harbor’s deep expertise and track record in high-yield investing and its team’s experience in client service fit well with those brought by the Absalon team and will be a significant asset as we broaden our fixed income offering.”

Hannah Strasser, co-founder and CEO of SKY Harbor, said: “We believe this transaction with Impax creates a strong value proposition for global clients and investors outside the US who can look forward to continuing to invest in SKY Harbor’s high yield responsible investment strategies.”

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