Friday 22 June 2018

Rathbone Brothers confirms £200 million takeover talks with Speirs and Jeffrey

London-based Rathbone revealed its interest following a report in the Sunday Telegraph.

Shares in Rathbone were up more than 2 per cent in early morning trading on the London Stock Exchange (PA)
Shares in Rathbone were up more than 2 per cent in early morning trading on the London Stock Exchange (PA)

By Ben Woods, Press Association Chief City Correspondent

Wealth manager Rathbone Brothers is locked in takeover talks with Glasgow-based investment manager Speirs and Jeffrey over a potential £200 million deal.

The group confirmed the possible tie-up in a London Stock Exchange announcement, but said no binding offer had been made and there was “no certainty” a deal would be done.

London-based Rathbone revealed its interest following a report in the Sunday Telegraph, which claimed private equity firm Permira was also weighing a bid for Speirs and Jeffrey.

Such a move would line up Rathbone and Permira for their second head-to-head battle in less than a year.

Rathbone faced off against Tilney, which is majority owned by Permira, over financial services group Smith & Williamson.

However, the firms’ efforts were thwarted when Smith & Williamson decided to go it alone and embark on an initial public offering (IPO).

The sale of Speirs and Jeffrey could land its 10 partners a cash windfall of £10 million each, according to reports.

Shares in Rathbone were up more than 2% in early morning trading on the London Stock Exchange.

Shore Capital analyst Paul McGinnis said: “The Telegraph reported a ‘bidding war’ between Rathbone and Permira at an estimated price of £200 million.

“If correct, this would represent 3.6% of the £5.5 billion of client assets, a premium to the levels at which a number of listed wealth management groups are trading.”

Rathbone, which employs more than 1,000 staff in 15 offices across the UK and Jersey, was founded as a timber merchants in the 1720s before later becoming an investment manager.

Press Association

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