The rapidly growing exchange-traded funds shop PowerShares Capital Management has been scooped up by Amvescap in a deal that industry insiders characterize as unusual.

Atlanta-based Amvescap will pay $60 million for PowerShares, a two-year-old company that in just the last 12 months has rolled out 32 ETFs, and will gain about $3.5 billion in assets. Until the deal was announced, Wheaton, Ill.-based PowerShares enjoyed one-of-a-kind status in the market place as its sole, stand-alone ETF provider. That fact adds an interesting asterisk to the acquisition, experts told Dow Jones.

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