IFG Group  

James Hay parent deal receives approval

James Hay parent deal receives approval

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has approved the acquisition of IFG Group by private equity house Epiris.

The parent company of self-invested personal pension (Sipp) provider James Hay was sold to Epiris for £206m on March 25 in a deal subsequently approved by shareholders in May.

The deal to buy IFG Group included the Saunderson House financial advice business as well as James Hay.

In an update published today (August 13), IFG Group announced that the FCA has now given the deal its backing.

The deal is expected to be sanctioned by the High Court at a hearing on August 27, and the acquisition of IFG Group “will occur as soon as practicable” following this sanction.

A scheme of arrangement deal, which is a procedure that allows a company to reconstruct its capital, assets or liabilities, must be sanctioned by the High Court before it can go ahead, according to the Companies Act.

In addition to this, the deal must be approved by the majority of shareholders.

The deal will see Epiris acquire IFG Group through its subsidiary SaintMichelCo.

At the time of the sale, Kathryn Purves, IFG's chief executive, said the deal was positive "both for shareholders and clients".

In February 2018, IFG Group put its advice business Saunderson House up for sale but took it off the market two months later after it reviewed the offers it had received.

At the time IFG Group said the offers were "not wholly aligned" with the strategy of Saunderson House, which had assets under advice of more than £5bn.

In a statement at the time it said: "Having reviewed the offers in detail, including with the board of Saunderson House, the board has concluded that the offers were not wholly aligned with the strategy of Saunderson House and would present significant execution risks that would likely create lower shareholder value than from retaining the business.

"As a result, the board has concluded that it is not in the best interests of shareholders of IFG to proceed with the sale process.”

In IFG’s annual results for the year to end of December 2018, the company reported a profit of £12.4m, a 12 per cent rise on the previous year.

IFG’s half year results are due to be published in early September.

amy.austin@ft.com

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