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FCA approves US investor's acquisition of AFH Financial

FCA approves US investor's acquisition of AFH Financial

AFH Financial Group's takeover by US private equity firm Cortina Bidco has been approved by the regulator.

In a stock exchange announcement this morning (May 19), AFH said Cortina Bidco, an acquisition vehicle run by Flexpoint Ford, had gained approval by the Financial Conduct Authority on May 18 but is still waiting for High Court sanction.

US-based Cortina Bidco had increased its offer price to £231.6m in March after the previous bid failed to win over shareholders.

Earlier this year (January 25), directors at AFH had agreed terms for a £225m takeover offer but the deal, which requires 75 per cent backing from shareholders, fell through.

The private equity firm now values each share at 480 pence.

Shareholders approved this deal on March 26.  

Previously, independent directors of AFH confirmed in a statement to shareholders that they intended unanimously to recommend that AFH shareholders vote in favour of the new deal at both the court meeting and the resolutions at the general meeting.

AFH, which has funds under management of £6.2bn, is currently listed on the London Stock Exchange's Aim.

In annual results published earlier this year AFH said it was on the hunt for valuable buying opportunities in 2021, having pulled out of the acquisition market for much of 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking at the time of the initial offer, John Wheatley, chairman of AFH, said Flexpoint and Bidco would be "excellent partners" and the acquisition was "in the best interests of all stakeholders of the group". 

sonia.rach@ft.com

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