NEW YORK and HAMILTON, Bermuda:
Apollo and Athene have entered into a definitive agreement to merge in an all-stock transaction that implies a total equity value of approximately $11 billion for Athene. Under the terms of the transaction, each outstanding Class A common share of Athene will be exchanged for a fixed ratio of 1.149 shares of Apollo common stock. Upon closing of the merger, current Apollo shareholders will own approximately 76% of the combined company on a fully diluted basis, and Athene shareholders will own approximately 24%.
The merger of Apollo and Athene combines two growth companies providing products and services that are in high demand – investment returns and retirement income. The stronger capital base and complete alignment will allow the company to rapidly scale asset and liability origination, broaden distribution channels and act as a leading global solutions provider. The company will operate in an environment powered by strong market and demographic trends.
Apollo Co-Founder and incoming CEO Marc Rowan said, “This merger is all about alignment between Apollo and Athene, amongst Apollo’s stockholders and with our limited partners. For Apollo and Athene, we will have total alignment to optimize our strategy and allocate capital efficiently, which will include rapidly scaling our capability to originate attractive risk/reward assets, which are the limiter of growth for both firms. We have also created alignment among all our stockholders who will share in the upside of a larger, more liquid company with leading corporate governance. And it further aligns interests with our fund investors, giving us a bigger balance sheet to invest alongside clients in our various fund products.”
Apollo Co-Founder Josh Harris said, “This merger is an important and strategic step for our firm’s growth. Unlike mergers with a high degree of execution risk, this union cements the coming together of two firms that have maintained a close partnership for more than a decade. As a firm, we continue to demonstrate leadership, strategic differentiation and superior performance across our investment platform.”
Athene Chairman and CEO Jim Belardi said, “Today’s announcement reflects the strength and strategic nature of our longstanding mutually beneficial relationship with Apollo – one which has already created enormous value for each other and our respective constituents. After carefully reviewing Athene’s options to unlock value for shareholders, Athene and Apollo determined that the potential of a fully aligned business would be significantly greater than a sum-of-the-parts. Coming together in this merger is a logical and exciting next step that will simplify our relationship while driving significant strategic and financial benefits in both the immediate and long-term future.”
Management and the Board
The combined company will be led by incoming Apollo CEO Marc Rowan. The key benefits of the merger will be derived from increased coordination and alignment, not consolidation. The merger is not predicated on synergies of personnel or cost savings, and the combined company expects to grow its workforce commensurate with growth of the business.
Apollo’s business will continue to be led by Co-Presidents Scott Kleinman and James Zelter. There will be no change to the platform, day-to-day portfolio management or investment processes and approvals.
Athene will continue to be led by CEO Jim Belardi with his current management team and full workforce. There will be no change to Athene’s platform, investment processes or approvals. Athene’s historic emphasis on providing exceptional policyholder service, being a leading provider of retirement savings products, and maintaining strong financial strength and regulatory relationships, will remain.
The Board of Directors of the combined company will be a diverse, 18-member Board that is two-thirds independent. Four directors of Athene are expected to join the combined company Board including Jim Belardi. Chairman Leon Black, Co-Founder Josh Harris and Lead Independent Director Jay Clayton will continue to serve in their respective roles.