Panmure Gordon boss says Bob Diamond and QInvest takeover offer is "huge compliment" as stockbroker returns to profit

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QInvest and Atlas Merchant Capital agreed a £15.5m takeover offer last month (Source: Getty)

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.

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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.

Read more: Will fortune favour brave Bob Diamond's Panmure takeover?

“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.”

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