Middle East investment vehicle buys 23 per cent stake in UK broker

William Turvill
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Kuwait City
Kuwaiti European Holding Group has bought a 23.1 per cent stake in WH Ireland (Source: Getty)

A Middle Eastern investment vehicle today took a 23.1 per cent stake in broker WH Ireland.

Kuwaiti European Holding Group (KEH), the vehicle of the Al-Humaidi family, this morning announced it had paid £8.45m for more than 6m shares at 140p, a 39 per cent premium on last week’s closing price.

WH Ireland’s share price rocketed by more than 30 per cent to 129p yesterday after news of KEH’s interest emerged over the weekend. It fell slightly today, down four per cent to 122p.

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“An important component of KEH’s strategy is to build out a financial services division that can develop a true bridge between investors in Kuwait and elsewhere in the Middle East, and financial markets in Europe, particularly in London,” said Humphrey Percy, group chief executive of KEH.

“Having a significant stake in a prominent London securities house such as WH Ireland is an exciting next step of this strategy and I look forward to working with the team at WH Ireland to build this partnership.”

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WH Ireland chief executive Richard Killingbeck said:

This is good news for WH Ireland, its shareholders, clients and employees. We have moved the business a long way forward over the last 12 months and KEH’s investment reflects the confidence they have in the Company and its strategic development plan. I am pleased to welcome KEH as a long term investor and have no doubt that their involvement will open up significant opportunities for us.