The boss of stockbroker Panmure Gordon has described the £15.5m takeover offer from Bob Diamond’s private equity firm and Qatari investment bank QInvest as a “huge compliment” to the firm.
The company, which agreed a deal with long-term stakeholder QInvest and Diamond’s Atlas Merchant Capital last month, today reported a return to profit, of £1.1m, in 2016, up from a £16.7m loss in 2015.
Revenues, meanwhile, increased from £23m to £28m as the firm was boosted by corporate finance fees.
Panmure and its City peers faced the challenge of the UK’s Brexit vote last year, as well as the election of Donald Trump. Chief executive Patric Johnson described it as a “challenging and fun” period.
He said: “The strength of the return to profitability is a testament to the people that have been here. We’ve always had that quality, it’s just a question of extracting it out of them, and making it more focused.
“Therefore we put a much more collegiate effort into creation of the team structure. And managing that in the right direction is paying dividends.”
Asked about the takeover bid, he told City A.M.:
I take it as a huge compliment that we’ve attracted such a high-profile and prolific-quality financial services investor as AMC.
I’m not talking about Bob Diamond, I’m talking about a collection of financially-astute people from Barclays background or from JC Flowers background, and their association of investing in something that they see as a de-risk opportunity.
He acknowledged the bid came at a time when Panmure’s business is undergoing a turnaround, which is not yet complete.
“I do believe [the bid] is a testament to the people in this business. First and foremost, again ignoring the strategic direction that we have collectively driven this business to, I feel that that is a massive mark of respect to the people of this business.”
He added: “Standing alongside our strategic long-term investor, which is QInvest, you’ve got a pretty powerful force of financially-astute [people] with relatively deep pockets to look to the future of a very exciting time for Panmure Gordon.”