Cetera To Acquire Avantax For $1.2 Billion

Michael Madden, Contributing Editor & Research Analyst, Wealth Solutions Report

Avantax To Become Standalone Business Within Cetera, Bolstering Cetera’s Custodial, Tax And Accounting Services; Shareholders Receive 30% Premium At $26 Per Share

Avantax and Cetera Financial Group announced an agreement between Avantax and Aretec Group, Cetera’s holding company that does business as Cetera Holdings, whereby Cetera Holdings will acquire all issued and outstanding shares of Avantax in a cash transaction valued at approximately $1.2 billion. Cetera Financial Group will keep Avantax’s clearing and custody relationships, core technology, product offerings and legal entities.

Common stockholders of Avantax will receive $26 per share, representing a premium of approximately 30% to the Sept. 8 closing price. The deal is expected to close by the end of this year.

Chris Walters, CEO, Avantax

Avantax, which has 3,078 financial professionals, $83.8 billion in assets under administration (AUA) and $42.6 billion in assets under management (AUM) as of June 30, will become a standalone business unit among Cetera Holdings’ subsidiaries. Cetera Financial Group has over 9,000 financial professionals, and as of June 30, had approximately $341 billion in AUA and $121 billion in AUM.

“I am extremely grateful to our extraordinary community of financial professionals as well as the entire Avantax team for their unwavering focus and steadfast professionalism throughout our transformation,” said Avantax CEO Chris Walters. “I am confident that this combination with Cetera is beneficial for Avantax, our financial professionals, employees and stockholders.”

Georganne Proctor, Chair of the Board, Avantax

“Over the past several years, Avantax’s Board and senior management team have positioned the Company for long-term, sustainable growth through a simplified strategy, strengthened balance sheet and improved operational performance while exploring strategic opportunities for the future success of the business,” said Georganne Proctor, Chair of the Board at Avantax.

She continued, “After carefully evaluating how best to maximize value for our stockholders, the Board unanimously determined that this transaction is in the best interests of Avantax and its stockholders.”

Mike Durbin, CEO, Cetera Holdings

Mike Durbin, CEO of Cetera Holdings, said, “As we enter Cetera’s next phase of evolution, our five-year growth strategy is off to a terrific start. Avantax will significantly build out Cetera’s capabilities in tax and wealth management. The addition of Avantax Planning Partners, an award-winning employee-based RIA with over $7.6 billion in assets under management, will complement and strengthen Cetera’s recently launched, highly successful succession solution offering and will deliver a combined offering that is even more compelling and impactful across all of the advisor communities.”

Adam Antoniades, CEO, Cetera Financial Group

“This acquisition will establish a strategic relationship between Cetera and Fidelity, which will enable Cetera to expand further into a multi-custodial platform, enhancing Cetera’s capabilities to provide tools and functionalities for its affiliated advisors,” said Cetera Financial Group CEO Adam Antoniades.

Antoniades continued, “Our tax-centric Cetera Financial Specialist team has already created a formidable presence in our industry, and we are delighted that after the closing of this acquisition, we will be able to offer all of our advisors even greater opportunities to expand into tax and accounting.”

Michael Madden, Contributing Editor and Research Analyst at Wealth Solutions Report, can be reached at mmadden@wealthsolutionsreport.com.

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