Astaire abandons Hoodless Brennan deal

STOCKBROKER Astaire has been forced to shelve its takeover of rival Hoodless Brennan after abandoning hope of securing regulatory approval for the deal.

Astaire last month requested a suspension of its shares from the Aim market after discovering a £1.4m black hole on the balance sheet of its retail stockbroking subsidiary Rowan Dartington. The firm said its own resources would be sufficient to cover the “potentially irrecoverable debtor balances”, though it warned the discovery would probably render those resources insufficient for the acquisition under existing offer terms.

Astaire confirmed yesterday that it had formally dropped its £3.6m takeover offer, saying: “This unforeseen change in circumstances is of such material significance…that there is no prospect whatsoever of obtaining controller consent from the FSA.”

Astaire, which was renamed last year after Evolve Capital’s ambitious chief executive Edward Vandyk took over Blue Oar Securities, is understood to have received a number of rival takeover approaches in recent weeks, including from investment bank Fairfax.