Curtis Banks extends deal talks with Nucleus

Curtis Banks extends deal talks with Nucleus

Curtis Banks has extended the deadline by which Nucleus needs to make a firm offer to acquire it by at least 17 days.

The deadline for a firm offer, which is now January 9 and would see Nucleus acquire Curtis Banks' entire issued share capital, could be extended further still, according to a statement to the stock exchange today (December 23). 

But the Sipp provider also said Nucleus has now completed its due diligence and the parties are “close to agreeing” transaction documentation.

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Curtis Banks had initially agreed that Nucleus had until today (December 23) to confirm whether or not the deal was going ahead.

In the announcement, Curtis Banks said: “With the consent of the panel on takeovers and mergers, the board has agreed…to an extension of the date by which Nucleus is required either to announce a firm intention to make an offer for Curtis Banks…or to announce that it does not intend to make an offer.

“Such [an] announcement must now be made by Nucleus by 5.00pm (London time) on January 9, 2023. 

“This deadline may be further extended, with the consent of the takeover panel, at Curtis Banks' request…There can be no certainty that any firm offer will be made for Curtis Banks.”

David Barral, Curtis Banks’ executive chair, is tasked with making the announcement in the new year.

Back in September, FTAdviser reported Nucleus was considering a handful of potential acquisition targets after platform inflows dipped to just £1mn in June and one analyst labelled the business as “struggling”.

The adviser platform is majority owned by private equity firm HPS Investments, and fellow private equity house Epiris also owns a smaller stake.

Chief executive of Nucleus Richard Rowney has spoken openly about the platform’s intention to consolidate as it looks to boost the assets on its books which currently sit at around £50bn for the combined Nucleus and James Hay businesses.

Curtis Banks' market cap sits at £171mn with assets under administration of £37.1bn.

It 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 executive chair Barral said the company demonstrated the “resilient nature” of its business model.