Deal agreed for City’s Merchant

SHAREHOLDERS in Merchant Securities have overwhelmingly backed a takeover offer from South African investment group Sanlam.

Investors holding nearly 94 per cent of Merchant shares agreed to the £12.25m deal, which will see Sanlam’s SPIH subsidiary buy the City stockbroker. Sanlam, which had been Merchant’s largest investor with nearly ten per cent, will take its stake to 75 per cent.

Sanlam wanted Merchant so it could win a foothold in corporate broking and gain access to its private client wealth management arm.