By Sarah Thompson, Anthony Macdonald and Tim Boyd
Geoff Wilson’s Wilson Asset Management has secured its alternative investments play.
WAM is set to gobble up management rights to Blue Sky Alternatives Access Fund and its $200 million or so in assets, more than 18 months after turning its attention to the embattled listed fund.
WAM is expected to sign a deal as early as Thursday and quickly set about rebranding it as WAM Alternative Assets and growing the portfolio.
Wilson’s pitch to Blue Sky Alternative Access Fund shareholders – and his own existing investors – will be about using WAM’s existing footprint to grow the fund’s assets under management and close the discount to its net tangible asset backing.
The idea is that the alternatives strategy would not be as correlated to equity markets as WAM’s traditional listed investment companies, which have about 85,000 investors between them.
Wilson already has Adrian Siew – a former Carlyle Group operative – on board to help manage the alternatives fund. He’s expected to add another hire should the deal get the green light.
Blue Sky Alternative Access Fund securities were in a trading halt on Wednesday while the final negotiations took place.