• Offer would value Brussels-listed Bank at $804 million
  • Oddo to keep German, Irish units; SocGen to buy U.K. unit

Oddo & Cie, a French fund manager and investment bank, offered to buy BHF Kleinwort Benson with the help of Societe Generale SA for a price that beats Fosun International Ltd.’s bid.

Oddo, which already owns 21.6 percent of BHF Kleinwort Benson, offered 5.75 euros a share for the rest, the French company said in a statement Friday. That would value the Brussels-listed bank at about 760 million euros ($804 million). The bid is about 15 percent more than the takeover target’s Thursday opening price and beats Hong Kong-based Fosun’s July proposal of 5.10 euros.

If its offer succeeds, Oddo would almost double its staff and assets under management and expand in Germany and Ireland. The company plans to keep BHF Kleinwort Benson’s Frankfurt-based wealth-management division as well as its Irish asset-management unit. Societe Generale said separately that it agreed to take over the private-banking activities in the U.K. and the Channel Islands if the deal is successful, the bank said.

“This acquisition would allow Societe Generale Private Banking to accelerate its development in its core markets in EMEA and especially in the U.K." France’s second-largest bank said. The purchase would have “no significant impact” on the lender’s financial ratios, the bank said.

Oddo said it can win control of at least 50 percent of BHF Kleinwort Benson’s shares it has firm sale commitments from Franklin Templeton Group and Aqton, which hold about 17.5 percent and 11.3 percent of Kleinwort Benson’s respectively, the company said.

Oddo next week will ask its shareholders to authorize a capital increase to finance the bid. Loans from Societe Generale and JPMorgan Chase & Co. will also help fund the deal, Oddo said. Oddo has about 1,300 employees and 61 billion euros of assets under management.

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