ANNOUNCEMENT: UK Adviser is now PA Adviser. Read more.

M&A talks break down between IFA firm and investment group

Just weeks after confirming discussions were taking place


Harwood Capital will not make a formal bid to buy Manchester-headquartered Frenkel Topping Group.

This comes several weeks after Frenkel Topping announced the private equity firm was keen on acquiring the business.

Frenkel Topping confirmed “discussions regarding a possible offer took place between the parties”, but talks have broken down.

Harwood had until 5pm (GMT) on 25 February 2020 to present a concrete offer for the advice business.

By choosing not to do so, Harwood Capital is now barred from bidding for the advice firm for six months, unless special circumstances allow, due to restrictions under rule 2.8 of the London Stock Exchange code.

Fiduciary duty

Richard Fraser, chief executive of Frenkel Topping Group, said: “The board has a fiduciary duty to look at any serious interests in the business and it is a testament to the company and its achievements that we received this interest.”

International Adviser has reached out to Harwood Capital for a comment, but the firm did not reply before publication.

Frenkel Topping Group has several subsidiaries; including IFA specialist Frenkel Topping, Ascensia Investment Management and Obiter Wealth Management.

As well as its Manchester office, the advice firm has operations in Birmingham, Cardiff, London and Leeds.

London-based Harwood Capital is an independently-owned investment firm and part of the Harwood Capital Management Group.

Lack of success

This is not the only deal over the last few weeks to collapse.

In January, advice firm St James’s Place (SJP) pulled the plug on a deal to buy Ireland-based pensions and investment firm Harvest Financial Services “following careful consideration”.

Also, the merger between trust, fund and pension services provider Fairway Group and fund administrator Oak Group was called off in early February, despite agreeing a deal six months before.


Latest Stories