Cantor Fitzgerald to buy parts of UK stockbroker
The US brokerage, Cantor Fitzgerald, led by Howard Lutnick that bought Dublin-based Dolmen Stockbrokers last year, has agreed to buy parts of British stockbroker Seymour Pierce out of administration.
The purchase includes the 168-year-old broker’s corporate finance team, New York-based Cantor said in a statement.
Seymour Pierce had sought protection from creditors earlier yesterday, according to a statement from the London Stock Exchange.
The transaction’s terms were not disclosed. The purchase adds to Cantor’s expansion in Europe. The company said in July it would hire 17 people from the capital markets division of Canaccord Financial in London to start a corporate advisory business in Europe. In December, the firm bought Dolmen Stockbrokers.
Cantor said the deal would add more than 70 European clients and increase market coverage by 250 stocks.
The deal would help “accelerate our strategy to provide full- service corporate finance and advisory services for clients, and to expand the reach and product specialisation of our established European equities business”, Cantor Fitzgerald Europe chief executive James Rowsell said.
Like other small British stockbrokers, Seymour Pierce has faced a squeeze on revenue and fees amid Europe’s debt crisis and competition from international firms.
In the past three years, UK brokerages including Evolution Group have been acquired by larger competitors. Canadian broker Canaccord completed its £253 million (€299 million) takeover of Collins Stewart Hawkpoint last year.
Seymour Pierce chief executive Tom Forcier will become chief operating officer of Cantor Fitzgerald Europe.
The UK firm traces its origins on the London Stock Exchange to 1845, with the name Seymour Pierce and Co being adopted in 1883. It also provides equity capital markets and advisory services to its clients. – (Bloomberg)