Belfast Telegraph

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

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

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.

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