South Korea's Mirae Asset Acquires Global X

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Mirae Asset Global Investments Co., Ltd., one of the largest independent asset managers in South Korea, is acquiring exchange traded funds issuer Global X. The companies made the announcement Tuesday after the close of U.S. markets.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. New York-based Global X, known for its thematic and international ETFs, among other offerings, had $9.33 billion in assets under management as of Feb. 12. That makes Global X the 17th-largest U.S. ETF issuer as measured by assets.

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Mirae Asset is adding an anchor presence in the United States (Global X) to its existing ETF businesses in Canada (Horizons), Australia (BetaShares) and Asia (Tiger ETF), according to a statement. With $30 billion in assets under management as of Jan. 31, 2018, the combination of these ETF businesses represents not only one of the fastest growing ETF management companies in the industry, but also one with a truly global ETF footprint.

A Shrewd Deal For JPMorgan

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News of Mirae's acquisition of Global X comes nearly two years after JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) took a passive, minority stake in Global X. At the time of that deal being announced, neither JPMorgan Chase nor Global X disclosed terms.

Still, it stands to reason that JPMorgan is likely profiting on the sale of Global X and the bank looks all the more prescient for taking that stake when considering Global X had just over $3.3 billion in assets under management when that deal was announced in April 2016.

Changes

Global X CEO and co-founder Bruno del Ama will step down after the Mirae acquisition is completed. President Luis Berruga is expected to succeed him. The deal is projected to close in the third quarter.

Roughly one-third of Global X's assets under management are in two ETFs the Global X Robotics & Artificial Intelligence ETF (NASDAQ:BOTZ) and the Global X Lithium & Battery Tech ETF (NYSE:LIT). Those are the only Global X ETFs with more than $1 billion in assets under management, though the issuer has a couple more funds within striking distance of that milestone.

Overall, Global X has more than 15 ETFs with more than $100 million in assets, the asset level many industry observers associate with profitability and viability. Several other Global X ETFs are close to surpassing that level, too.

The day-to-day operations of the Global X business will not change and it will continue to be run under the Global X brand, according to the statement.

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