Goodbody calls off sale to Chinese group

Stockbroking group said ‘rationale’ for transaction had changed

Stockbroking firm Goodbody and its majority owner Fexco have decided not to proceed with the sale of Goodbody to a consortium of Chinese investors.

“Both companies have concluded that the rationale for the original transaction is no longer applicable due to a proposed change in the make-up of the shareholder structure made by the acquiring group,” Goodbody said in a statement.

The institutional brokers and corporate finance house added that its balance sheet had been strengthened following the sale of the company's stake in the Irish Stock Exchange last year.

“The company retains significant financial capacity to drive its strategy forward,” it said.


Expansion plans

After months of negotiations, Chinese group Zhongze last July agreed to buy Goodbody in a deal reported to be worth €150 million. It was said this would facilitate Goodbody's expansion plans.

Goodbody managing director Roy Barrett said at the time that the deal would mark an "exciting" next chapter for the firm. Mr Barrett and other senior managers were due to remain with the business if the deal had gone ahead, and it was not expected that it would lead to job losses.

Goodbody has more than 300 employees across offices in Dublin, London, Cork, Galway and Kerry, where its majority shareholder, payment services group Fexco, has its head office.

Laura Slattery

Laura Slattery

Laura Slattery is an Irish Times journalist writing about media, advertising and other business topics