Storebrand Group has agreed to acquire Scandinavian mutual fund company SKAGEN Funds in a cash-stock deal valued at NOK1.6bn ($199.5m).

SKAGEN will continue to remain a separate entity following the acquisition. The company will also retain its existing investment philosophy and process, and will report to its own board chaired by Storebrand CEO Odd Arild Grefstad.

Grefstad said: “As one of the leading savings providers in the Nordics, the acquisition of SKAGEN is an important building block in pursuing our domestic and international growth strategy.

“We look forward to benefiting from SKAGEN’s significant expertise in active management, direct client service and experience with international distribution.”

SKAGEN CEO Oyvind Schanke said: “By combining the two companies’ complementary areas of expertise and with Storebrand’s strong market position and balance sheet, we will have greater ability to invest and innovate.”

Norwegian pension fund and savings manager Storebrand said that the deal will boost its private fund savings market share from 4% to 17%.

The deal is expected to be wrapped up before the end of this year, subject to regulatory approvals.

Storebrand expects the deal to have an immediate two percentage point negative impact on its solvency margin. It also expects the acquisition to improve its solvency margin and dividend capacity in the long run.