CITY broker and wealth manager Charles Stanley yesterday confirmed it was in exclusive talks with a suitor to sell its securities business.
Responding to a report by Sky News that Oriel Securities owner Stifel Financial was the potential buyer, the group confirmed it was in talks, but did not name the potential acquirer. Sky News also reported Cantor Fitzgerald and Panmure Gordon as possible bidders.
A sale of the securities business would mark the first strategic move by new chief executive Paul Abberley to overhaul the business.
The firm reported lower annual profits last year due to takeover and investment costs.
Current chairman Sir David Howard relinquished the chief executive’s position last year to be replaced by Abberley to comply with incoming EU regulations.
Shares in Charles Stanley closed up 5.07 per cent yesterday.
A takeover by Stifel would underscore the US-firm’s growing presence in the UK securities market.
It originally bought Knight Capital Group’s fixed-income sales and trading divisions in 2013 and last year snapped up Oriel.
The New York-listed company fell by 0.8 per cent in early trading yesterday.