Impax Asset Management, which has a distribution arrangement in Australia with BNP Paribas, has entered into agreements to acquire 100 per cent of Pax World Management, subject to shareholder approval.
London-headquartered Impax has assets under management of US$9.37 billion, which will increase to US$13.4 billion if the merger with US-based Pax goes ahead.
Under the terms of the agreement, Pax has an initial valuation of US$52.5 million.
The integration of the two firms will see both management and investment teams remaining in place; mutual funds managed by Pax will retain the Pax brand; Pax will be renamed Impax Investment Management; and Pax chief executive Joe Keefe will continue to lead Pax, reporting to Impax CEO Ian Simm.
Mr Simm said, "I am delighted that, after a decade of working with Joe and his team to design, launch and manage the Pax Global Environmental Markets Fund, the Impax and Pax teams will be joining forces.
"Like Impax, Pax has a long track record as a pioneer in sustainable investing and a strong team of highly experienced investment management and support staff. The combined group will start with a closely aligned business culture and be well placed to offer a broader service and more diversified range of products to existing and future clients."