Deals and IPOs

Bill Gross 'very supportive' as Janus announces merger to create $320 billion money manager

While Bill Gross still primarily is allocated to the U.S. bond market, he warned investors at year-end that he views "the current environment with caution."
Jim Young | Reuters

"Bond king" Bill Gross has given his backing to the proposed merger between his employers, Janus Capital, and U.K.-based Henderson Global Investors, according to his future boss.

Andrew Formica, now chief executive of Henderson Global Investors and set to be jointly in charge of the merged group, said that Gross had been a "great colleague" for Janus Capital and notched up some "incredible performance" with the assets he manages.

"He is aware of the transaction as you wouldn't be surprised and he's very, very supportive. He sees it as just improving already on the strength of Janus, of what he's already seen since he's been there and he can see with the combination with Henderson can just make it an even stronger and better business," Formica told CNBC Monday.

"My understanding is that he will be very positive on this and continues to be very supportive of what we're trying to do."

Gross and Janus Capital weren't immediately available for comment when contacted by CNBC. Gross is the lead portfolio manager at Janus Capital, joining the company a week after leaving Newport Beach-based firm Pimco in September 2014.

Henderson-Janus merge is a "merger of equals"

Monday's announcement is still subject to regulatory approval but would be an all-share merger to form a company managing more than $320 billion in assets and a combined market capitalization of approximately $6 billion. Henderson and Janus shareholders are expected to own approximately 57 percent and 43 percent respectively of Janus Henderson Global Investors' shares on closing, according to the press release.

The combined group will apply for a primary listing in New York, will also keep Henderson's Australian listing but will drop its London listing. Formica told CNBC that the merger wasn't consolidation but rather "two strong businesses who recognize that the combination together can be even stronger."

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