EMBATTLED stockbroker Astaire on Friday agreed to divest itself of its main Astaire Securities division for £2.45m, bringing to a close a tumultuous period for the group which included the failed takeover of rival Hoodless Brennan, directors’ resignations and a lawsuit against the firm.
Astaire sold the securities unit to Canadian group Northland Capital Partners (NCP) for £2m in cash and £450,000 to be placed into an escrow account against the firm’s continued eligibility for nominated adviser (Nomad) status and against any warranty claims or shortfall in the sale of assets below their book value.
Astaire said that a lawsuit by Izodia against Corporate Synergy Holdings (CSH), an intermediate holding company within the group, had damaged staff morale and client relationships, both key to its business. The majority of the £2m cash proceeds from the sale will be retained by CSH pending the outcome of the litigation.
Under new owner NCP, Astaire Securities will be renamed and chaired by current head of corporate finance Stuart Lane. It is still adviser and broker to over 40 Aim clients.