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Shareholders to vote on Nucleus deal on March 30

Shareholders to vote on Nucleus deal on March 30

Shareholders in Nucleus, including many advisers who use it, will vote on whether to go ahead with the platform's acquisition by James Hay on Tuesday, March 30.

According to documents published on the London Stock Exchange this morning, there will be a meeting that morning to decide if the deal should go ahead.

Nucleus directors are unanimously recommending that the £145m deal should go ahead.

If shareholders vote in favour of the deal, it will then be completed at least 11 days after the Financial Conduct Authority signs it off - though it is expected the deal will be done by the end of the second quarter.

The offer, at £1.88 per share, represents a premium on Nucleus’s share price as at December 1 (the last day prior to the offer period) of 42 per cent. Nucleus shares are currently trading at £1.85 each.

James Hay intends to merge the operations of Nucleus with James Hay Group to create a financial planning and retirement-focused adviser platform and is hoping the move will enable greater investment in technology, products and services for the adviser community.

Although there is unlikely to be any immediate change for advisers on either platform, it is expected that Nucleus will be shifted from the Bravura technology it currently uses to FNZ, a platform tech firm with which James Hay has a long-term strategic partnership.

Assets on the Nucleus platform have risen to £17.7bn as of March 3, an increase of 14.4 per cent over the past 12 months.

The number of advisers using the platform over the past 12 months was "broadly flat", Nucleus has said, while client numbers increased by 3.1 per cent to around 101,000.

Last year Nucleus confirmed Integrafin Holdings — Transact’s parent company — and private equity firm Epiris, which owns James Hay, were in talks over proposing cash offers for the firm.

Nucleus also received proposals from private equity house Aquiline Capital Partners and fund distribution platform Allfunds.

Both confirmed shortly after that they would not be making an offer for the firm, while Transact pulled out of the race at the start of the year.

damian.fantato@ft.com