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09 Feb 2021 | 09:17

Nucleus Financial agrees £144m takeover

(Sharecast News) - James Hay Holdings has snapped up rival platform Nucleus Financial Group in a £144m deal, it was announced on Tuesday. The pensions specialist will pay 188p in cash for each Nucleus share, valuing the investment platform provider at around £144.6m. Shares in AIM-listed Nucleus, which has recommended the offer to shareholders, jumped on the announcement, and were trading 11% higher at 185.97p by 0900 GMT.

The offer represents a premium of 41.89% on Nucleus's share price on 1 December 2020, the last business day prior to the offer period starting.

James Hay, which is indirectly owned by private equity firm Epiris Funds, said: "The combination creates the capability to service the entire adviser market with a wide range of financial planning and retirement needs, including leading SIPP and drawdown features among a broad range of tax wrappers."

The merged firm will have assets under administration of around £45bn, and the increased scale will enable increased investment in technology, products and service, James Hay said. Nucleus currently has AUA of around £17.4bn.

Richard Rowney, chief executive, said: "The two businesses have complementary areas of expertise and common beliefs about the importance of independence and only serving the adviser market."

David Ferguson, chief executive of Nucleus, said: "Since we launched in 2006, we've always put the customer centre stage.

"Becoming part of this enlarged group gives us a key role in a much bigger story, where we can create a leading platform of scale with a high-tech, high-touch proposition and philosophy."

The deal is expected to complete by the second quarter of 2021, subject to regulatory approvals.
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