Rathbones and S&W merger talks collapse

Merger discussions between Rathbones and Smith and Williamson have collapsed following a decision by the latter to attempt to list on the stock market.

Rathbones and S&W merger talks collapse


In an update published late Thursday evening, wealth manager Rathbones confirmed the potential merger was off the table less than two weeks after first entering talks.

The two firms said they had failed to find terms to benefit both sets of shareholders, and abandoned the discussions.

Rathbones chief executive Philip Howell said: “We continue to believe that our proposition was both a compelling strategic and value creation opportunity for all Smith and Williamson’s stakeholders.

“The potential combination was intended to accelerate Rathbones’ existing strategy, but ultimately we were unable to agree terms that offered our shareholders an appropriate balance of risk and reward. Rathbones remains confident in its strategy and will continue to look for growth opportunities in the sector and assess them with discipline.”

The firm incurred £5m costs in preparing for the potential take-over, it confirmed.

In a statement issued following the Rathbones’ announcement, Smith and Williamson confirmed plans to list on the stock market had been in the pipeline prior to being approached regarding the merger.

The announcement also appears to put an end to an eleventh hour bid from Tilney Group for S&W, after it emerged the £23bn wealth manager made an all-cash offer for the firm earlier this week.

Revealing it will continue to chase a stock market listing instead of merging, S&W said: “As part of our preparation for a potential listing we have developed a strategy to deliver growth across all our business lines and further enhance our position as a leading adviser to private clients and their business interests.

“This will be achieved by continued investments in talent, infrastructure, client experience and a number of new initiatives to strategically engage with existing and new client groups, creating value for shareholders as our business grows.”

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