Although the £15.5m Panmure Gordon takeover is small, the deal is also a high-profile one for the City of London. It’s not every day the former chief executive of Barclays, Bob Diamond, launches a takeover bid for a City institution like Panmure.
Therefore, some will have been surprised by the names of the advisers working on the deal. Panmure was advised by accountancy firm Grant Thornton, while the buyside took on Hopton Advisers, led by Colin La Fontaine Jackson.
Incorporated in 2014, according to Companies House accounts, Hopton Advisers specialises in advising entrepreneurs and high-net-worth individuals. The firm typically relies on personal recommendations for winning clients.
La Fontaine Jackson was formerly a solicitor at Clifford Chance, and has also worked for Charterhouse Securities, ING Barings and Quayle Munro.
Sources close to the deal said Hopton had been chosen at the expense of bigger firms because the buyers wanted high-quality advice from a senior M&A professional, as opposed to more junior staff at a bigger player.
Philip Secrett, Salmaan Khawaja, Jamie Barklem and Harrison Clarke were listed as working on the Panmure side of the deal for Grant Thornton.
Hopton Advisers and Grant Thornton have been asked for comment.