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Private equity-backed consolidator withdraws advice firm bid

Would-be acquirer unable to make the company fit its model


Independent financial advice business Socium Group has pulled out of negotiations to acquire financial services firm Beaufort Group.

The two companies entered into an M&A agreement in September 2020, which included Beaufort’s adviser network and discretionary investment management operations.

But International Adviser now understands that the deal is off.

Simon Goldthorpe, joint executive chairman, said in a statement to shareholders: “I have to report that Socium has decided to withdraw its offer, citing an inability to get our business to fit into ‘their model’. We do not intend to make any statement to the press other than ‘we were unable to agree on final terms’.

“Whilst disappointing, it is a setback purely in timing terms. We will continue to pursue our growth strategy and will use the considerable due-diligence work undertaken with Socium to good effect elsewhere. We are very confident of finding the right funding partner. 

“Both businesses are in a far superior position than just a year ago and can more easily demonstrate the embedded value in the group. This doesn’t just apply to the financials, but also the underlying services of each business and we have exciting plans for each subsidiary which we will share in due course.

Growth plans

Mary-Anne McIntyre, Sociom Group chief executive, added: “The team have built a fantastic business which I have every confidence will continue to go from strength to strength. While it is disappointing we won’t be working together, we wish them all the best with their plans for the future.”

Socium Group, which is backed by private equity company Penta Capital, was created in 2019 with former Openwork chief executive McIntyre at the helm.

The Beaufort acquisition was part of its plan to develop a national business, consisting of 300 advisers, over the next five years.

Socium’s M&A strategy sets out to acquire between 15 to 20 business to create regional hubs and develop its local presence.

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