Panmure Gordon confirms Bob Diamond takeover


Bob Diamond, the former Barclays chief executive, has joined forces with a Qatari investment bank to takeover Panmure Gordon, one of Britain’s oldest stockbrokers.

The deal which is confirmed ,will see Mr Diamond’s private equity vehicle, Atlas Merchant Capital, and QInvest, the Qatari investment bank, take the company private. QInvest already owns a 43% stake in Panmure.

The approach for Panmure - first reported by Sky News on Thursday - was confirmed in an announcement to the stock exchange and will now go to a shareholder vote. Its shares rocketed by over 70% after the statement.

It said Atlas Merchant Capital, founded by Mr Diamond, and Qatari investors intended to delist the company - take it private - on completion of the deal which values Panmure at £15.5m.

That represents a premium of almost 70% on the company’s market value at the time of the offer.

While the move catapults the former Barclays chief back into the financial services establishment, nearly five years after he was ousted as the bank’s chief executive amid the Libor rate-rigging scandal, it is understood he will play no active role in Panmure’s activities.

QInvest, a private investment bank, will ultimately hold an equal share with Atlas - assuming other current Panmure shareholders choose to take the cash offer.

Andrew Adcock, Panmure’s chairman, said: “The Independent Panmure Gordon Directors believe that the cash consideration will be attractive in providing Panmure Gordon shareholders with an opportunity to exit at a significant premium to the current share price.

“Against the backdrop of a challenging macro-economic environment, with the resultant market volatility which has in recent years impacted Panmure Gordon’s business, the independent Panmure Gordon directors believe that the scheme price reflects a fair and reasonable offer.”

Commenting on the bid vehicle’s plans for Panmure, the head of UK and Europe for Atlas Matthew Hansen said: “We believe there is significant opportunity for Atlas, in partnership with QInvest, to apply our operational skills and financial services expertise to enhance Panmure Gordon’s strong reputation and build a larger, successful boutique investment bank.

“This long term stabilization and development can only realistically be achieved as a private company, out of the glare of the public market and the effects of share price movement.”