Morgan Stanley (MS) said Monday it has reached an agreement to acquire Solium Capital Inc. ]s: ca:sum] in a deal with an equity value of C$1.1 billion ($900 million). Morgan Stanley will pay C$19.15 per Solium share in cash, giving it control of the Canadian cloud service for global equity administration, financial reporting and compliance. The deal is expected to close in the second quarter and to have minimal impact on the bank's earnings and capital ratios. "With this acquisition, Morgan Stanley is positioned to be an industry leader in Workplace Wealth Solutions, bringing together a major stock plan administration platform with a leading Wealth Management business," the bank said in a statement. Solium's 3,000 stock plan clients include Instacart, Levi Strauss, Shopify and Stripe along with other fast growing private companies and newly public ones, said the statement. The company has more than 1 million participants, while Morgan Stanley has 320 stock plan clients with 1.5 million participants, of which a quarter are members of the Fortune 500. Morgan Stanley shares were up 0.4% in premarket trade, but are down 21.7% in the last 12 months, while the S&P 500 has gained 3.4%.
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