A blank cheque vehicle has entered exclusive talks to buy Lombard, one of the UK’s biggest wealth management groups.
Sky News has learnt that Kingswood Acquisition Corp, which listed in New York late last year, signed a letter of intent to acquire Lombard in the last few days.
While a deal is not yet certain, the talks pave the way for one of the first takeovers of a British-based financial services business by a New York-listed Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC).
Lombard, which has been owned by Blackstone since 2014, had more than €47bn in assets under administration last June.
Analysts believe a deal could value Lombard at around €700m (£605m).
Kingswood Acquisition is sponsored by the major shareholders in Kingswood Group, a UK-based wealth management firm, and is chaired by Gary Wilder.
Pollen Street Capital, a private equity firm, is also a backer of the SPAC.
Lombard is run by Stuart Parkinson, who was appointed as chief executive last year following a long stint running HSBC’s private banking operations.
Blank cheque companies have raised an unprecedented sum of money in the last 12 months to transform the landscape for mergers and public flotations in the US.
Bank of America is advising Blackstone on the prospective sale, while Oppenheimer is advising Kingswood.
Blackstone and Kingswood both declined to comment.
(c) Sky News 2021: Blank cheque company in exclusive talks to buy wealth manager Lombard