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Kristiaan Nieuwenburg, Partner at IK,

IK Investment Partners acquires Offshore Incorporations group

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IK Investment Partners (IK) has acquired Asian company formations business the Offshore Incorporations group of companies from the Carlyle Group.

The intention is to 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). Financials for the transaction were not disclosed.

Vistra is a leading provider of fund administration, trust and corporate services in Europe, with a strong financial track record.

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.

The transaction will create a global leader with circa 500 employees. The combined company will benefit from favourable long term growth characteristics such as Asian GDP growth, foreign direct investment flows to and from Asia, acceleration of Asian HNWI growth, and an increase in M&A activity. The merger will also offer an opportunity to expand Vistra’s footprint in mainland China and that of OIL into new selected geographies such as the Americas, Indonesia and India. Importantly, the combined company will be able to leverage the strengths of their respective firms to enhance the product and services offering to its existing and future clients across its markets. Vistra’s strong knowledge of cross border structuring, wealth protection, fund administration and its European network will be made available to the Asian client base, while Vistra’s clients will be able to benefit from their new partners’ network in Asia and knowledge of Asian based solutions.

Martin Crawford, CEO of the Offshore Incorporations group of companies, and going forward also of Vistra, says: “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, says: “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 (pictured), Partner at IK, says: “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.”

The CEO of Vistra, Bart Deconinck, will become Executive Chairman of the Board and Mr. Martin Crawford will become CEO of the expanded Group. The management and employees of both Vistra and the Offshore Incorporations group have demonstrated their commitment to the business by becoming important shareholders in the combined group. IK will remain the largest shareholder.

IK was advised in this transaction by The Royal Bank of Scotland.

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