Wrap platform Nucleus has agreed to acquire self-invested personal pension (Sipp) provider Curtis Banks Group for a total equity value of £242m ($287m, €273m).
This comes over a month after the two firms confirmed they were in advanced talks over a deal.
The transaction, which is an all-cash offer, will bring together the Nucleus Group and the Curtis Banks Group to create a retirement-focused adviser platform with approximately £80bn of assets under administration.
The firms are looking to combine Curtis Banks’ Sipp and self-administered pension schemes (Ssas) product offerings and Nucleus’ platform experience to help further support financial advisers and their customers in the wealth market.
Advisers currently served by Curtis Banks will gain access to a range of platform services available within the Nucleus Group’s existing offering, including ISAs, GIAs and onshore and offshore bonds.
The Curtis Banks board has unanimously recommended that the firm’s shareholders vote in favour of the transaction.
Founding shareholders of Curtis Banks, as well as Oryx International Growth Fund and Odyssean Investment Trust, and Canaccord Genuity Asset Management will approve the acquisition.
Approximately 54% of Curtis Banks’ shareholders have already agreed to back the deal.
The acquisition is conditional on approval by Curtis Banks shareholders and the receipt of clearances from relevant regulators. It is to be implemented by way of a scheme of arrangement and is expected to complete in Q2 2023.
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Richard Rowney, group chief executive of the Nucleus Group, said: “Our ambition remains to create the UK’s leading platform, exclusively for financial advisers to help them make retirement more rewarding for their customers.
“We’re already demonstrating the benefits of scale, enabling investment in technology, people, products, price and service. As one of the UK’s largest independent Sipp and Ssas providers, Curtis Banks not only adds further significant scale to our business but will complement our existing expertise and benefit our combined adviser base providing added flexibility and optionality.”
David Barral, executive chairman of Curtis Banks, said: “The board of Curtis Banks is pleased to be recommending the Nucleus Group’s offer for the company, which represents a significant premium in cash and offers certain value for our shareholders.
“Curtis Banks recognises Nucleus’ established reputation and strength in the adviser platform market, as well as our shared customer-centric approach and aligned corporate values. The combined group’s greater scale, efficient platform, broader product proposition and enhanced ability to invest in technology and service will benefit all stakeholders.”
Over the last few years, Nucleus has been involved in a lot of M&A activity.
In March 2022, New York-headquartered HPS Investment Partners (HPS) became a majority shareholder of the UK adviser platform group. Its previous majority shareholder, Epiris, retained a significant minority stake of the platform.
This came a year after James Hay bought Nucleus to create an enlarged financial services group.