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IK Acquires Offshore Incorporations Group

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

IK Investment Partners (IK) has announced that it has acquired from the Carlyle Group the Offshore Incorporations group of companies, which is the Asian market leader in company formation and associated services.

According to IK, the acquisition will create a world-leading global trust and corporate services provider by merging the corporate service part of the Group, Acceptor and Credence Trust, with IK’s portfolio company Vistra Group (Vistra), a provider of fund administration, trust and corporate services in Europe.

IK was advised in this transaction by The Royal Bank of Scotland, although financials for the transaction were not disclosed.

The Offshore Incorporations group today comprises three specialist entities: Asia’s leading company formation specialist, OIL; one of the leading corporate services firms in Asia, Acceptor; and trust and fiduciary service firm Credence Trust. The intention is to integrate Acceptor and Credence Trust with Vistra under the Vistra brand. OIL will operate independently from Vistra.

IK believes that the combined company will benefit from a number of favourable long-term growth trends such as Asian GDP growth, foreign direct investment flows to and from Asia, the growing population of Asian high-net-worth individuals, and an increase in M&A activity. The merger is also designed to enhance Vistra’s presence in mainland China and create new opportunites for OIL to grow in other markets, such as the Americas, Indonesia and India.

Martin Crawford, CEO of the Offshore Incorporations group of companies, and going forward also of Vistra, said: “The underlying commercial logic for the deal is to create a 'best in class' service provider. OIL will remain focused on providing leading company formation services to its intermediary network throughout Asia, while the combination of Acceptor, Credence and Vistra will broaden the range and scope of services offered to our clients. The deal will accelerate the growth of the merged business. We are excited about the opportunity to further develop the market in which we operate with a more comprehensive service offering.”

Bart Deconinck, CEO of Vistra and future Executive Chairman of the Board of the combined group, commented: “This is a very exciting union of two successful companies which creates a truly global service provider with substantial scale. The combination allows us to bridge Europe and Asia for clients requiring such solutions. The new group will be ideally positioned to tap into the growing market of professional services generated by cross border structuring and international wealth planning. The career prospects for our employees are enhanced which will further augment our ability to attract and develop ambitious and talented people.”

Kristiaan Nieuwenburg, Partner at IK, added: “This combination will create a unique player in the trust and fiduciary industry, with a truly balanced geographic spread. When we invested in Vistra we committed to develop an active merger and acquisition strategy of which this is a result. The deal illustrates IK’s ability and willingness to support its portfolio companies in making transformational transactions.”