8 JANUARY 2003

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RAM being sold to Insight Investment

The Rothschild Group has agreed to sell the retail and institutional asset management business of Rothschild Asset Management BV (RAM), joint owners of Valletta Fund Management along with Bank of Valletta, for GBP61 million to Insight Investment. Insight Investment is the investment division of the Halifax and Bank of Scotland, (HBOS), with assets under management of GBP56.8 billion.

The sale of RAM to Insight will have an effect on its shareholding agreement with Bank of Valletta, in Valletta Fund Management, in which RAM has been VFM’s strategic partner since the inception of the company in 1995.

Valletta Fund Management Chairman, Joseph F.X. Zahra, together with VFM’s Director Frank Xerri de Caro and VFM’s General Manager Charles Borg, recently returned from London where preliminary talks were held with Insight executives.

Speaking on his return, Mr Zahra said that, "we are delighted to be in talks with a large financial institution like HBOS. Our priority remains one of ensuring the best interests of our investors and from our initial talks, I am pleased to say that BOV and Insight have strong complementary skills, which can be used to derive synergies for the benefit of existing shareholders of our funds and new clients. Our discussions with Insight executives are expected to be concluded in a few weeks time, where we will then be in a position to provide more detailed information."

HBOS is one of the leading financial services companies in the UK, forms part of the FTSE 100 Index and is also the fifth largest bank in the UK, with assets exceeding GBP312 billion represented by over 20 million customers. In the UK, it is the number one bank in mortgages and savings, with GBP126 billion in customer mortgages and GBP102 billion of customer savings. HBOS also accounts for 22% of all new bank accounts, and 25% of all new cards in the UK.

At the time of acquisition, RAM was managing £11 billion of retail and institutional funds of which approximately £1 billion relates to Japan and Singapore, which are not being sold as part of the transaction. The RAM and Insight deal is still subject to the UK’s Financial Services Authority’s approval and is expected to be completed by the end of January 2003.


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Editor: Saviour Balzan
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