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September 5, 2022

UBS call off $1.4bn deal to buy US robo-adviser Wealthfront

UBS has terminated the previously announced $1.4bn purchase of US-based automated wealth management firm Wealthfront.

The deal, which was scrapped mutually, was signed in January this year. It proposed to acquire Wealthfront by UBS Americas.

However, UBS is expected to proceed with the plan to buy a $69.7m note convertible into Wealthfront shares.

At the time of signing the deal, Wealthfront had more than $27bn assets under management for over 470,000 clients in the US. The company mainly serves the millennial and Gen Z investors.

It offers a range of financial planning solutions as well as banking services and investment management products.

Had the deal culminated, it would have further boosted UBS’ footprint in the US and also strengthened its distribution and capabilities.

In a statement, UBS said: “UBS remains committed to its growth plans in the US and will continue the build-out of its digital wealth management offering.”

Wealthfront, in a blog post, also confirmed its plans to continue to operate as an independent entity.

The firm stated: “We are continuing to explore ways to work together in a partnership and UBS has given us $69.7m in financing at a $1.4bn valuation.

“I am incredibly excited about Wealthfront’s path forward as an independent company and am proud to share that thanks to the hard work of our team and the trust you put in us, we will be cash flow positive and EBITDA profitable in the next few months.”

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