Cantor Fitzgerald agrees to buy Merrion Capital

Deal comes as industry prepares for wave of consolidation

Cantor Fitzgerald's Irish unit has agreed to acquire Merrion Capital, as the industry prepares for a wave of deals amid rising regulatory and compliance costs.

The deal is subject to regulatory approval from the Central Bank of Ireland.

It comes at a time when management at Goodbody Stockbrokers and the firm's majority owner, Fexco, are in advanced talks to sell the business to Chinese state-owned Zhong Ze Culture Investment Holdings, a subsidiary of the Aviation Industry Corporation of China.

Elsewhere in the sector, AIB had been in exclusive talks up until the end of March to buy Investec Ireland. The deal had faltered at that stage, mainly over the issue of bonuses, which are banned at the bailed-out bank.

Joe Brennan

Joe Brennan

Joe Brennan is Markets Correspondent of The Irish Times