Investec closes in on Evolution
London - South African finance group Investec [JSE:INL] is
buying British investment bank Evolution for an agreed £233m, in a deal which
will boost its wealth management and broking arms.
Investec said on Friday its offer was worth 100.24 pence per
Evolution share, a 6.6% premium to Evolution's closing share price on September
Investec, which runs investment banking and fund management
businesses, had been vying with Canaccord Financial for Evolution, until
Canaccord pulled out on Thursday.
Evolution's main interest for bidders has been its Williams
de Broe wealth management division, while its Evolution Securities investment
banking and broking arm has a solid range of corporate clients in Britain.
"The group has seen strong growth in third-party assets
under management and the acquisition of Evolution will add further momentum.
The transaction strengthens our position in the UK, giving us greater scale in
both private client wealth management and investment banking," Investec
chief executive Stephen Koseff said.
Investec's takeover of Evolution has come amid a backdrop of
ongoing consolidation among Britain’s smaller investment banks, who have been
hit by the financial market downturn.
American investment bank Evercore Partners bought advisory
firm Lexicon Partners in June, while in February 2010 Portuguese lender Banco
Espirito Santo bought a majority stake in stockbroker Execution Noble.