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Miton sells Liverpool funds business

Miton sells Liverpool funds business

Miton has 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'.

It highlighted that the evolution of core investment strategies and significant organic growth, complemented by last year's acquisition of PSigma, meant the group was highly profitable and retained a robust financial position.

In 2013 the company's £466 million in funds managed from Liverpool generated a gross revenue of £4.6 million.  

Miton said an unsolicited approach prompted a strategic review of the Liverpool business, which had always been managed separately from its Reading and London divisions.

Although Liverpool's performance had improved in recent years, Miton concluded there was less prospect of rapid growth of its assets under management compared with other parts of the group.  

It intends to use the cash from the disposal to reduce its regulatory capital requirement and fund further growth.   

Miton chair Ian Dighé said: 'The clients investing in our Liverpool funds have enjoyed improved performance over recent years, and we believe the improved trend will be sustained following the transaction with Seneca. We look forward to working with Seneca in future.

‘Miton’s funds under management, excluding the Liverpool business, have almost doubled in the last two years. The accelerating momentum in the group gives the board greater confidence for improved results in the current year.’

Seneca chief executive Stuart Eaton added: 'Miton Capital Partners is a perfect fit for us - strategically, logistically and geographically. We had wanted to expand our asset management operations in order to offer a more holistic proposition to our clients; and the funds and experience we have acquired enable us to do just that.

'With the acquisition of this profitable and proven business, we now have the foundations in place to build the Seneca brand and realise our broader goals for the group.'

Profit on track & Graham Hooper steps down

In a separate announcement Miton said assets under management rose from £1.8 billion at the end of 2012 to £3.1 billion at the end of 2013 with net cash balances standing at £11.2 million.

Miton expects 2013 pretax profit to match expectations of a £4.5 million gain.

The group added the three funds it launched it launched over the last year or so - CF Miton UK Smaller CompaniesCF Miton US Opportunities and CF Miton UK Value Opportunities - had all hit £50 million in assets under management. Meanwhile the CF Miton UK Multi-Cap Income fund saw assets under management rise from £49 million to £370.2 million over the year.

There was also a reshuffle in the boardroom, with former managing partner of law firm DWF Jim Davies appointed as a non-executive director and distribution director Graham Hooper relinquishing his directorship. Hooper will continue to serve as an employee with the firm until March.

'Miton is gaining recognition for anticipating the changing markets trends as we move beyond the credit boom. Over the last three years the group has been making itself ready to take on a growing number of clients in the coming years,' Dighé said.  

'I believe Miton has an extraordinarily strong team of client facing staff, and with our distinctive positioning we are well-placed to deliver real value for our growing client bases.'   

At 9.30am shares in Miton were 0.6% higher at 49.3p.

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