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January sales: the top M&A news from last month

In a busy start to the year we highlight the biggest deals from January, and those firms which were the subject of speculation.

Hedgie snaps up Ashcourt shares

3 January

Hedge fund group Tetragon Financial Management doubled its stake in national advice group Ashcourt Rowan after a share placing to fund the acquisition of UK Wealth Management (UKWM).

Ashcourt announced the deal to buy UKWM in December last year and placed around 8.25 million shares at 185p in a bid to raise £15.3 million.

Guernsey-domiciled hedge fund firm TFM bought the shares through its Tetragon Financial Group Master fund.

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Bellpenny boosts assets with double acquisition

9 January

IFA consolidator Bellpenny acquired a combined £187 million in funds under management from two IFA firms.

The acquisitions of London-based Actuarial & Investment Services, which advises on £75 million, and Birmingham-based The Hammond Consultancy's £112 million in funds meant Bellpenny has now completed 15 acquisitions. This deals took Bellpenny's total assets under advice to £1.3 billion.

The Hammond Consultancy will continue to run its pensions business.

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Suitors circle Jupiter wealth arm

13 January

It emerged that Jupiter Fund Management was considering selling its wealth management division, with Towry (Towry's Andrew Fisher pictured), Quilter Cheviot and Rathbones all in the frame to buy the business, which is worth an estimated £50 million.

The Sunday Times reported that Jupiter has appointed investment bank Evercore to examine the division’s future after it received an unsolicited offer for its wealth management arm, which has £2.2 billion of assets under management.

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Davy buys Belfast IFA

14 January

Northern Ireland-based Davy Private Clients bought Belfast firm Square Seven Financial Planning.

Square Seven runs around £74 million in assets on behalf of 400 clients.

The purchase was the company’s fourth acquisition in the last four two years, following Bloxham in 2012 and more recently AIB Investment Managers and iCubed.

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AFH Financial takes on 20th firm

16 January

Bromsgrove-based advice firm AFH Financial made its 20th acquisition since it listed in 2011, snapping up Stoke-on-Trent-based SR Wealth Management in a deal worth up to £199,500.

AFH paid an initial cash sum of £94,500, and possibly a further £105,000 over the next 26 months depending on SR Wealth Management’s performance.

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Warburg takes stake in Source

20 January

Competition in the exchange traded fund market (ETF) intensified on news Warburg Pincus bought a majority stake in Source.

The move was pushed through by former iShares head Lee Kranefuss, who works for Warburg and will join Source as executive chairman, working alongside the firm's chief executive Ted Hood.

The US private equity firm bought the stake from a host of US investment banks, including Goldman Sachs and Bank of American Merrill Lynch. Other Source backers included JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley and Nomura and all five banks will remain minority shareholders.

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Miton sells Liverpool funds business

24 January

Miton agreed to sell its Liverpool fund management business to Merseyside-based Seneca Investment Managers for up to £6.4 million.

The AIM-listed firm said the disposal of Miton Capital Partners was in response to market trends, which have 'evolved beyond the credit boom'.

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F&C agrees terms of all-cash takeover

28 January

Bank of Montreal and F&C Asset Management agreed the terms of an all-cash £708 million takeover, offering F&C shareholders 120p per share in addition to a 2p dividend.

The price placed 30.5% premium on the 93.5p that F&C traded at the close of market on 24 January, before the deal was announced.

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Private equity firm buys into Succession

28 January

Inflexion Private Equity took a majority holding in national advice firm Succession Group.

Inflexion purchased 50.1% of shares in the group and will provide further funding through to 2017 for Succession’s ongoing acquisitions of its member firms. Firms are eligible to be acquired once they have completed Succession’s ‘transition’ programme.

Succession set out a goal to acquire the best 50 of its 62 member firms between now and 2017.

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Saracens chairman backs Nutmeg

29 January

Nigel Wray, the serial entrepreneur and chairman of Saracens rugby club, took a 'significant' stake in low cost discretionary manager Nutmeg.

Nick Hungerford (pictured), chief executive and co-founder of Nutmeg, said he was looking forward to capitalising on Wray's broad experience of building, expanding and managing financial services businesses.

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