Evo faces bid war as fresh offers pour in

A BIDDING war for City broker and wealth manager Evolution Group looked increasingly likely yesterday after it admitted it had received a number of approaches.

Evolution has been viewed as up for sale since it received an approach from South Africa asset manager Investec two weeks ago.

The news sparked the interest of a number of finance groups including Canadian stockbroker Canaccord Financial, which also admitted it was in early stage takeover talks yesterday.

Evolution is a sought-after asset due to the strength of its fast-growing private client wealth management arm Williams de Broe.

“I would imagine that lots of people will be throwing their names into the hat now,” one industry source told City A.M. “It is not often you get a £7.8bn block of private client money becoming available. Evolution is clearly up for sale and I think everyone will be interested.”

Evolution said that after Investec’s approach it had “received approaches from a number of other parties interested in either part or the whole of the company”.

Potential bidders could range from Canadian group RBC Capital Markets to City wealth managers such as Rathbones.

The news will pile pressure on Investec to enter exclusive talks and avoid a bidding war.

Canaccord said its interest depended on “obtaining a unanimous recommendation from the Evolution Board and the satisfactory completion of due diligence”, among other requirements.

Evolution’s shares closed up 9.1 per cent yesterday on the news.