Fin24

Investec closes in on Evolution

2011-09-09 08:42

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 8.

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.