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Greenhill plans to divest itself of merchant banking operations

BOUTIQUE investment bank Greenhill said yesterday that it plans to spin off its merchant banking fund arm, Greenhill Capital Partners, selling the right to launch successor funds for around $25m (&pound;15m).<br /><br />The company, which expects to complete the deal in the current quarter, said the purchaser will be an entity formed by Robert Niehaus, chairman of Greenhill Capital Partners. The sale price is payable principally in Greenhill common stock, which will be retired, it said.<br /><br />Greenhill said that the scale of the opportunity in the advisory business merits its undivided attention, and that capital needs and other differences between the two businesses inevitably become more pronounced as they each grow, making it easier to run them under separate ownership.