Advisor Group expected to be sold for $2.3 billion

Private equity buyer would grab a 75% stake in IBD network that produced $1.7 billion in revenue last year and has nearly 11,800 advisers

May 9, 2019 @ 12:20 pm

By Bruce Kelly

Advisor Group, a group of independent contractor broker-dealers with close to 11,800 financial advisers, is close to announcing that it will be acquired by private equity investors for a price tag of $2.3 billion, according to sources familiar with the deal.

The deal could be announced as early as today, those source said.

But as of Thursday morning, it was not entirely clear who would emerge as the buyer, just that the deal was imminent and would eventually give the buyer a 75% stake in Advisor Group.

The two current owners, private equity shop Lightyear Capital and the Public Sector Pension Investment Board of Canada, would retain 25% stake, according to sources who asked not to be identified.

Last month, Bloomberg News reported that private equity manager Centerbridge Partners was in talks to buy Advisor Group; on Thursday morning, Bloomberg updated its reporting and said that Reverence Capital Partners was now the leader in the chase for Advisor Group and nearing a deal.

A spokesman for Lightyear did not return a call for comment. Neither Centerbridge Capital nor Reverence Capital Partners returned calls for comment.

The four broker-dealers in the Advisor Group network are: FSC Securities Corp., Royal Alliance Associates Inc., SagePoint Financial Inc. and Woodbury Financial. According to InvestmentNews data, the four combined to produce $1.7 billion in total revenue last year.

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