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Tilney denies interest in Towry acquisition

Tilney denies interest in Towry acquisition

Tilney Bestinvest has claimed rumours it was lining up a £700m deal for rival advice group Towry are “pure speculation”.

The potential acquisition was reported in the Sunday newspapers this weekend, but people familiar with the situation said this was not accurate.

The reports follow the news in December that Palamon Capital Partners, Towry’s private equity backers, had decided to sell the advice business, then reportedly valued at £600m, after giving up on plans to float it on the stock market.

Tilney Bestinvest itself is backed by another private equity firm, Permira, which brought together wealth managers Bestinvest and Tilney in March 2014.

As for Towry, back in 2010 the group’s then chief executive Andrew Fisher hired advisers to manage a potential listing on the FTSE 250, but those plans were abandoned at the start of 2012.

The following year, the firm raised £35m, from two Palamon co-investors AlpInvest Partners BV and Honeywell Capital Management, to fund an acquisition spree which saw is buy Baker Tilly’s private client business for £51m, along with fellow wealth manager Ashcourt Rowan for £97m.

This saw Towry’s assets under management increase 15.4 per cent to £6.4bn, backed by a 10.8 per cent increase in revenues to a record £91.3m, last April.

peter.walker@ft.com