Bank of New York Co. said Tuesday that it has agreed to buy a small New York-based asset management firm.
The deal for Estabrook Capital Management Inc. would allow the $67 billion-asset banking company to offer a wider range of value-oriented equity products, a strategy that targets less expensive stocks with the expectation that their value will increase.
By contrast, Bank of New York concentrates on core growth, which invests in growing companies, without paying high multiples.
Terms were not disclosed, but analysts said Bank of New York probably did not pay top dollar. Thomas W. Courtney Jr., the president of the investment banking firm Courtney Group Inc., put the price at $50 million to $65 million.
"We view this as an extension of our asset management capabilities," said Newton P.S. Merrill, a senior executive vice president at Bank of New York who oversees asset management, personal trust, and private banking.
Analysts said Bank of New York, which manages slightly more than $50 billion of assets, has expressed strong interest in building its fee- based business in recent years.
It has been a frequent acquirer of custodial assets and has significantly increased its position in retirement plan administration, said Gerard S. Cassidy, an analyst in the Portland, Maine, office of Boston-based Tucker Anthony Cleary Gull.
"This acquisition is a continuation of that trend, albeit in a slightly different area," he said.
Bradley G. Ball, a bank analyst at Credit Suisse First Boston, said the deal "enhances Bank of New York's product set" for private clients and high-net-worth individuals.
The deal comes just three months after Bank of New York combined its asset management services into one unit. Part of the rationale behind that move was to show the bank's commitment to that business line, thereby making it more attractive to companies like Estabrook, Mr. Merrill said.
Estabrook would operate as a separate unit, he added, and keep its name and management team, including Charles T. Foley as president. The deal is expected to close by Sept. 30.
Meanwhile, Mr. Merrill does not rule out other deals, though he said he did not have a definite time frame. "I sincerely hope that this is one of a series," he said.