LONDON, Nov 17 (Reuters) - Equity manager Martin Currie, part of U.S.-based Legg Mason, said on Tuesday it had agreed to buy long-short hedge fund RIT PK Japan Fund, which has $167 million in assets, for an undisclosed amount.
As part of the deal, managers Paul Kirkby and Paul Smith would join Martin Currie and see their fund's assets merged with those of incumbent manager Claire Marwick, to boost Martin Currie's Japan equity long-short fund to $425 million in assets.
Due to the cyclical opportunities and inefficiencies of the Japanese market, an actively managed long-short approach, where a fund can bet on both rising and falling share prices, was a good way to access the market, the firm said in a statement.
"This is a specialist area of the market with very few quality offerings. By combining the proven expertise of Paul Kirkby and his team...(clients could) navigate the cyclical nature of Japanese equities and capture the return opportunities available," said Martin Currie Chief Executive Willie Watt. (Reporting by Simon Jessop; editing by Carolyn Cohn)