Acquiring the outstanding shares of RF Capital Group Inc. remains the “No. 1 strategic priority” for Canaccord Genuity Inc., according to Dan Daviau, Canaccord’s president and CEO.
After having its takeover offer for RF Capital rebuffed last week, Canaccord hosted a webcast on Tuesday to appeal directly to RF Capital shareholders and Richardson Wealth advisors about the benefits of a merger.
“We can provide the optimal platform for Richardson Wealth advisors to achieve their growth objectives,” Daviau said during the webcast, suggesting Richardson advisors would benefit from Canaccord’s scale and stability.
Last week, RF Capital said no to a $367-million takeover offer that would have seen Canaccord pay $2.30 per share for the outstanding shares of RF Capital — an offer that fell short of the $2.42 per share GMP Capital paid last fall in a share buyback deal to consolidate ownership of Richardson GMP. On Tuesday, RF Capital’s stock closed at $2.06.
During the webcast, Daviau described Canaccord’s offer of $2.30 per share as “fair,” and noted that the RF Capital board and the Richardson family have been unwilling to engage in negotiations.
Richardson Wealth has seen stagnating growth and advisor departures in recent years. In a letter sent out last week outlining Canaccord’s proposal, Daviau noted that 14 advisor teams from Richardson Wealth managing more than $3 billion in assets have joined Canaccord over the past three years.
“All of the 14 advisors that have come over from RF have done better than they were doing at RF from a revenue perspective,” Daviau said during the webcast.
Canaccord estimates that a merger with RF Capital would result in an independent wealth management business with $62 billion in assets under administration, according to a release.
Richardson Financial Group Ltd., which holds a 44% stake in RF Capital, issued a statement last week saying it believes “RF Capital is embarked on a strategy that will generate far more shareholder value than a transaction with Canaccord would.”
During a quarterly conference call on March 5, RF Capital president and CEO Kish Kapoor said that Richardson Wealth is currently looking to add new advisors.
Despite RF Capital’s unwillingness to engage with Canaccord, Daviau said he intends to continue to pursue the matter — preferably by engaging directly with RF Capital’s board and the Richardson family.
“This is not a kicking-the-tire exercise — we are very focused on it,” Daviau said. “This is not something we’re going to let go of.”