Morgan Stanley agrees to pay $900m for employee stock plan manager

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Morgan Stanley has struck a $900 million cash deal to buy Solium Capital, a Canadian provider of cloud-enabled share plan administration services.

Morgan Stanley has agreed to pay CAD$19.15 for each Solium share, a 43% premium on the Calgary firm’s closing price on Friday.

Solium’s 3000 stock plan clients, with one million participants, include Instacart, Levi Strauss, Shopify and Stripe, tapping into the firm’s cloud-based service platform.

Morgan Stanley wants Solium to complement its workplace wealth management business, helping it to capture millennials on the plans that have a good chance of getting rich and therefore needing to move to advisor-based relationships.

James Gorman, CEO, Morgan Stanley, says: “The acquisition provides Morgan Stanley with broader access to corporate clients and a direct channel to their employees, as well as a greater opportunity to establish and develop relationships with a younger demographic and service this population early in their wealth accumulation years.”

Solium CEO Marcos Lopez will remain with the company and be based in Calgary once the deal closes, which is expected to happen in the second quarter, subject to shareholder and regulatory approval.

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