Rathbones confirms £2bn Smith and Williamson merger talks

Rathbones has confirmed that it is in £2bn merger talks Smith and Williamson.

If the deal is successful the joint organisation would expand into a £2bn wealth management company with a combination of the two companies creating a business with assets under management or advice of £56bn in the UK and internationally.

Smith and Williamson is the eighth largest accountancy firm in the UK, and also has a wealth management division with a prospective deal structured as a takeover of Smith and Williamson by Rathbones, with the former valued at £600m.

Rathbones has a market capitalisation of £1.4bn.

Rathbones issued a statement this morning confirmed talks were “underway”, but adding that there is “no certainty” a transaction will happen.

‘Meaningful benefits’

“Whilst these discussions have been underway for some time and the boards of both Rathbones and Smith & Williams are confident that the combination would bring meaningful benefits for the stakeholders of both businesses, discussions are ongoing and there can be no certainty any transaction will be agreed,” the company said.

The company’s shares were up less than 1%  since the market opened this morning. Though its stock has risen more than 52% in the past year.

Smith and Williamson is a partnership largely owned by its staff, with the Canadian investment group AGF also a shareholder.

If the deal goes ahead, it will be the latest consolidation in the wealth management industry, and follows in the wake of Canaccord Genuity announcing the purchase of Hargreave Hale last month.

Gary Robinson
Head of Video and Ezines at Open Door Media Publishing. Deputy Editor, International Investment. An experienced journalist and filmmaker with more than 20 years' financial services experience, both as journalist and originally as a fully qualified IFA, Gary works across both International Investment and InvestmentEurope titles. Previous video production credits include projects on BBC, C4 and SKY.

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