Battle for fund manager River and Mercantile goes into extra time 1

Battle for fund manager River and Mercantile goes into extra time

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Battle for fund manager River and Mercantile goes into extra time as deadline for tabling offers is extended


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The battle for fund manager River and Mercantile (R&M) will stretch into next year after the deadline for tabling a formal offer was extended.

The firm is in talks with City veteran Martin Gilbert and rival bidder Premier Miton amid a wave of consolidation in the industry.

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Both Gilbert and Premier Miton had until 5pm yesterday to launch a firm offer. But with talks between the R&M board and both suitors ongoing, the takeover panel extended the deadline to 5pm, January 18.

Takeover battle: Fund manager River and Mercantile  is in talks with City veteran Martin Gilbert (pictured) and rival bidder Premier Miton amid a wave of consolidation in the industry

Takeover battle: Fund manager River and Mercantile  is in talks with City veteran Martin Gilbert (pictured) and rival bidder Premier Miton amid a wave of consolidation in the industry

‘There can be no certainty that a firm offer will be made,’ R&M said. Gilbert is seeking to buy R&M through his investment vehicle Asset Co.

The 66-year-old father of three is both chairman of Asset Co and deputy chairman of R&M. 

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He is also chairman of Revolut, Toscafund and Scottish Golf, and senior non-executive director at Glencore. 

Schroders green deal

Asset management giant Schroders has struck a £358million deal to take control of renewable investor Greencoat Capital.

The FTSE 100 firm’s shares rose 3.1 per cent, or 105p, to 3480p after it took a 75 per cent stake in Greencoat, one of Europe’s largest renewable infrastructure managers, with £6.7billion of assets. Schroders said it has a shared ambition to be a global leader in green investment.

It said the deal will ‘significantly enhance’ Greencoat’s growth, and boost its distribution reach and management experience. Greencoat will be known as Schroders Greencoat.   

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He has recused himself from the R&M board for the purposes of talks relating to the potential bid. 

Asset Co, which specialises in buying and operating wealth managers, already owns a 5.85 per cent stake in R&M.

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The swoop comes nearly four decades after Gilbert set up Aberdeen Asset Management. 

He built it into a giant with more than £300billion of savings on its books before merging it with Standard Life in 2017. 

He stepped down last year, and took control of stock market-listed cash shell Asset Co. 

It has secured three acquisitions – including the takeover of Edinburgh investment house Saracen Fund Managers – and raised £25million from investors.

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Asset managers are bulking up to fight off rivals running cheaper passive, or index-tracking, funds. 

‘Asset Co said the extension ‘should allow sufficient time to finalise a potential offer’.

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