Nucleus  

Curtis Banks confirms possible Nucleus takeover

Curtis Banks confirms possible Nucleus takeover
 

Curtis Banks has confirmed it is in discussions with Nucleus about a possible takeover.

In a statement to the stock exchange today (November 25), the board of the Sipp provider said it is in advanced talks with Nucleus about the takeover, which would see Nucleus acquire its entire issued share capital.

Nucleus has until December 23 to confirm its intentions for the possible takeover, and Curtis Banks said there was “no certainty” that the offer will be made at this time.

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The platform has been considering a number of acquisitions following a change in control for the company, from Epiris to HPS Investment Partners after the latter bought a majority stake in the firm.

Nucleus was acquired by James Hay last summer, and between them the two firms manage around £50bn in assets.

Other names touted for takeover by Nucleus were fellow Sipp provider Dentons Pension Management, and Wealthtime, the investment platform.

Curtis Banks posted a 12.4 per cent decrease in adjusted pre-tax profit for the six months to June 30 this year, though it saw an overall pre-tax loss of £5.3mn due to a £9.8mn “goodwill” charge relating to Dunstan Thomas, the company’s fintech business.

Its assets under administration rose £1bn to £37bn in the period, and its executive chair, David Barral, said the company demonstrated the “resilient nature” of its business model.

Earlier this year, Nucleus’s chief executive Richard Rowney said the fears advisers have around the private equity ownership of the platform are based on “a bit of ignorance”, adding that "all businesses are owned by someone".

Nucleus has suffered recent dips in inflows over the past year due to a “backlog of issues” with the old technology it uses, and analysts have said the platforms is struggling due to the ownership change.

sally.hickey@ft.com