Prudential Buys into Taiwan Fund Manager

August 16, 2000

Prudential Insurance Co of America has agreed to acquire a majority stake in Taiwan’s asset management firm, MasterLink Securities Investment Trust Enterprise, for $95 million. Douglas Fergusson, president and chief executive of Prudential Asia, reportedly told Reuters news service hours before a scheduled news conference that Prudential would buy at least 80 percent of Masterlink’s shares.

Prudential Insurance Co of America has agreed to acquire a majority stake in Taiwan’s asset management firm, MasterLink Securities Investment Trust Enterprise, for $95 million. Douglas Fergusson, president and chief executive of Prudential Asia, reportedly told Reuters news service hours before a scheduled news conference that Prudential would buy at least 80 percent of Masterlink’s shares.

“We are planning to take a majority interest in MasterLink Securities Investment,” Reuters reported Fergusson as saying. MasterLink Securities Investment Trust has a strategic alliance with MasterLink Securities , but the two firms are not directly related. A MasterLink statement said mutual fund assets under management in Taiwan have expanded at a rate of 33 percent over the past four years as a result of net asset inflows and market appreciation.

MasterLink, with $1.6 billion in assets under management, has a family of 13 mutual funds, including eight domestic equity, three overseas equity, and two domestic bond funds according to Reuters. The deal marks Prudential’s second such agreement in Asia in as many weeks. On Aug. 1 Prudential signed a preliminary agreement to invest up to $500 million in South Korea’s Cheil Jedang Investment Trust.

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