Liontrust has entered into a conditional share purchase agreement with Neptune to buy the entire business for up to £40m, which will see the entire management team join Liontrust.
The acquisition will see Robin Geffen step down from his role as CEO of the business to focus solely on the management of the funds and lead the investment management team.
Liontrust said the whole team would be joining its London office, and will be renamed the Liontrust Global Equity team once the acquisition is completed.
Robin Geffen is named lead manager on Neptune's £430m Balanced, £283m Income and £220m Russia & Greater Russia fund, as well as the Global Alpha, Global Technology and Global Smaller Companies funds.
He also recently promoted his son William Geffen to assistant fund manager on the £70m Global Technology fund, £110m Global Alpha fund and £4m Global Smaller Companies fund.
Other funds that would move over to Liontrust are:
• Neptune China
• Neptune European Opportunities
• Neptune Global Equity
• Neptune Global Income
• Neptune India
• Neptune Japan Opportunities
• Neptune Latin America
• Neptune UK Mid Cap
• Neptune UK Opportunities
• Neptune US Income
• Neptune US Opportunities
• Neptune Emerging Markets
• Neptune Japan Equity
John Ions, CEO of Liontrust, said: "Neptune is a great acquisition for Liontrust and will enhance our already excellent investment proposition in areas where there is strong demand such as global equities, equity income and emerging markets equities.
"We have created an environment to give fund management talent with robust and repeatable investment processes the best possible opportunity to deliver good, long-term returns for our clients.
"Robin and the rest of the team at Neptune will be able to focus on managing their funds and not be distracted by other day-to-day aspects of running a business.
"In acquiring Neptune, we are adhering to our core beliefs and are strengthening the Liontrust proposition for both our clients and shareholders."
Geffen added: "It has been an easy decision to agree to sell Neptune to Liontrust. We have been hugely impressed by the excellent leadership and entrepreneurial attitude of the executive management team at Liontrust, the company's brand profile and by its sales and marketing capability.
"Neptune has great fund performance and an attractive investment proposition and will benefit hugely from the sales and marketing teams at Liontrust.
"The deal will also enable me to step away from managing the business and focus solely on managing funds and leading my investment team, which is my real passion.
"We believe the environment and culture at Liontrust will enable us to deliver performance for our investors and attract inflows into our funds over the next few years."
The acquisition price of £40m would be comprised of £35m in new ordinary shares of 1p each in the capital of the company, and up to an extra £5m in ordinary shares dependent on the future level of AUM at managed by the Neptune team.
Over recent months, speculation had mounted over potential suitors for the troubled business that has seen a number of senior fund management and distribution departures over the past few years.
Investment Week sources said Merian Global Investors and Sanlam UK had taken a look at the business with the view to buying up funds, but have since walked away without a deal. On Monday morning (29 July), Liontrust confirmed it was in talks with Neptune over an acquisition.