Cetera to Buy Tax-Focused Avantax in $1.2B Deal

Cetera CEO Adam Antoniades

Cetera is buying Avantax, formerly Blucora, in an all-cash transaction for $1.2 billion — a transaction that adds Fidelity as a custodial partner for Cetera.

Dallas-based Avantax has some 3,075 financial professionals focused on tax and wealth management, as well as nearly $83.8 billion in assets under administration and $42.6 billion in assets under management.

Currently, San Diego-based Cetera has more than 9,000 financial professionals with $341 billion in AUA and $121 billion in AUM.

Thus, the combined entity — assuming that most Avantax advisors and staff move to Cetera — would include 12,075 financial professionals, $424.8 billion in AUA and $163.6 billion in AUM.

After the deal closes, Avantax will operate as a standalone business unit within Cetera. Its shareholders will be paid $26 per share (ticker AVTA), about 30% more than the stock’s closing price on Sept. 8. The stock was up 27.6% Monday at 9:45 a.m. in New York to trade at $25.46.

“This acquisition will establish a strategic relationship between Cetera and Fidelity, which will enable Cetera to expand further into a multi-custodial platform, enhancing Cetera’s capabilities to provide tools and functionalities for its affiliated advisors,” explained Cetera CEO Adam Antoniades in a statement.