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Bob Diamond and Qataris swoop on Panmure Gordon

Former Barclays boss Diamond joins forces with Qatari investment bank QInvest to launch £15.5 million bid for UK stock broker.

Bob Diamond and Qataris swoop on Panmure Gordon

Former Barclays boss Bob Diamond (pictured) has made a City comeback with a bid for Panmure Gordon (PMR). 

In a stock exchange announcement this morning Diamond's  private equity vehicle, Atlas Merchant Capital, said it had joined forces with QInvest, the Qatari investment bank, to launch a £15.5 million bid for one of the UK's oldest stockbrokers.  

The 100p per share bid represents a 68.1% premium to Panmure's closing price of 59.5p last night. The shares responded by soaring nearly 75% to 104p after the market opened. 

The independent Panmure Gordon directors have unanimously recommended shareholders vote in favour of the deal. 

Panmure chairman Andrew Adcock told the market: '[The offer] will be attractive in providing Panmure Gordon shareholders with an opportunity to exit at a significant premium to the current share price.

'Against the backdrop of a challenging macro-economic environment, with the resultant market volatility which has in recent years impacted Panmure Gordon's business, the independent Panmure Gordon directors believe that the scheme price reflects a fair and reasonable offer.'

Even after today's spike Panmure shares have lost more than half their value since their 220p peak in March 2013.

The deal will result in Panmure, which was established in 1876, delisting from the London Stock Exchange. 

Atlas, which was founded by Diamond in 2013, believes by taking Panmure private it can realise its potential. 

Atlas head of UK and Europe Matthew Hansen said: 'We believe there is significant opportunity for Atlas, in partnership with QInvest, to apply our operational skills and financial services expertise to enhance Panmure Gordon's strong reputation and build a larger, successful boutique investment bank.

'This long-term stabilisation and development can only realistically be achieved as a private company, out of the glare of the public market and the effects of share price movement.'

The news marks a comeback for Diamond five years after he left Barclays, although he has also made a foray into African banking in recent years.

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