River and Mercantile has extended the offer period in which AssetCo is required to make a decision on whether it is to make a takeover offer or not.
In an update today (January 18), River and Mercantile said it had extended the deadline from today to no later than 5.00pm on January 25.
It said discussions between the board and AssetCo remained ongoing and the revised deadline could be extended further, at the request of the board of River and Mercantile and with the consent of the takeover panel.
Both approaches were conditional on the completed sale of the firm’s solutions business, which was sold to Schroders for £230m in October.
AssetCo and Premier Miton initially had until December 21 to confirm their takeover offers, however this was extended to January 18.
The AssetCo board believes that River and Mercantile Group Asset Management and AssetCo are highly complementary and that a combination of the two firms would create value for the combined group's clients, portfolio managers, employees and shareholders.
Campbell Fleming, chief executive officer at AssetCo, said: "We welcome the board of River and Mercantile Group’s decision to extend the offer period. Discussions have progressed over the festive period and into January.
"The extended period will allow us to finalise a potential offer to acquire River and Mercantile (excluding its Solutions business) for the benefit of both AssetCo and River and Mercantile shareholders."
AssetCo said there can be “no certainty that a firm offer will be made” nor as to the terms of any such offer. A further announcement will be made in due course.
AssetCo, which is chaired by Martin Gilbert, said in March that it was looking to make “strategic acquisitions” and develop the business through M&A.
Gilbert is also deputy chairman of River and Mercantile, but has recused himself from the board while discussions of a takeover take place. The company currently owns 5.85 per cent of River and Mercantile.
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