Merger talks between Smith & Williamson and Rathbones end with no deal

Merger talks between Smith & Williamson and Rathbones end with no deal”

Rathbones' decision to end merger talks potentially leaves the path clear for a rival to take on Smith & Williamson.

"The potential combination was meant to accelerate Rathbones' existing strategy, but ultimately we were unable to agree terms that offered our shareholders an appropriate balance of risk and reward".

Reports emerged on 21 August that Smith & Williamson, the UK's eighth largest accountancy firm and also a wealth manager, was negotiating a deal to combine with Rathbones and create a £2bn company.

However, today the firm announced that the merger had collapsed.

Rathbones said it has incurred expenses of £5m relating to the merger, according to FTAdvisers sister paper, The Financial Times.

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

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Rathbones has scrapped plans that would have seen it merge with rival Smith & Williamson to become a £55 billion asset management business.

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". This is underlined by the strong results we published for the year to 30 April 2017.

A statement from Smith & Williamson said its directors had been preparing the company for a potential stock market listing, and during the process had been approached by Rathbones.

Tilney put forward its bid after Rathbone confirmed its merger talks with S&W, owned by former and current employees along with AGF.

FTSE-250 listed Rathbone‎s has a market value of around £1.4bn, and AUM of around £37bn.

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