Affiliated Managers Group, a Boston asset manager, announced Monday that it has agreed to acquire Highbury Financial, an investment management holding company based in New York.

AMG Chief Financial Officer Darrell Crate said last week at an investment conference that it had been looking to spend more on acquisitions this year and that it was still interested in buying small firms.

On Nov. 9, AMG announced it bought a 5% stake in Value Partners Ltd. of Hong Kong. Earlier this year it bought part of equity manager Harding Loevner.

Under the terms of the deal, AMG would issue up to 1.7 million shares of AMG common stock in exchange for all of the outstanding equity of Highbury. The deal, seen closing in the second quarter, also includes an AMG payment of a special cash dividend to its common and preferred stockholders for its working capital in excess of $5 million.

AMG expects this special dividend to be 34 cents to $1.09 per Highbury share. Based on an AMG stock price of $66.90, which is the average closing sales price of AMG shares over the 25 trading days that ended Dec. 11, the transaction values the Highbury common stock at $6.10 to $6.33 per share.

The Highbury acquisition would give AMG a majority equity interest in Aston Asset Management LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Highbury.

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