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The Globe and Mail

Ravi Sood sells his firm to Aston Hill Financial

Ravi Sood has struck a second deal this year involving his money management firm, but instead of buying, this time his firm is being bought.

Aston Hill Financial Inc. said Monday that it has struck a stock-and-cash deal to buy Navina Asset Management Inc. for $4.2-million, acquiring about $225-million in assets invested in closed-end, mutual and hedge funds. The deal is subject to potential additional earn-outs of up to $1.8-million if certain conditions are met.

Most of the Navina funds are managed by Mr. Sood, who is chief executive officer of Toronto-based Navina and former CEO of Lawrence Asset Management Inc. In January, Lawrence acquired Navina Capital Corp., and the combined entities, which had about $330-million in assets, emerged under the name of Navina Asset Management.

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Mr. Sood also runs the Lawrence Partners hedge fund, which lost 80 per cent in 2008 and left a trail of irate investors that includes author Peter Newman. See Macleans story.

Aston Hill's deal to buy Navina will close next month if all the necessary regulatory approvals are met.

"The primary benefits of the acquisition to Aston Hill include the addition of Mr. Sood's unique talents to Aston Hill's existing ... portfolio manager team, a 10 per cent increase in assets under management and operational synergies that are expected to enhance Aston Hill's profitability," the company said.

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