Investec bags Evo in time for Christmas

INVESTEC formally closed its deal to buy British investment bank Evolution Group yesterday, following its final decision on lay-offs across both companies.

Investec won its bid battle in August when it settled on a price of £233m all in shares, a premium of 28 per cent on Evolution’s share price the day before it disclosed the approach.

Rival bidder Canaccord Financial, the Canadian financial services firm, lost out and instead agreed a deal to buy Collins Stewart Hawkpoint for £253m, more than a 90 per cent premium to its share price, which has yet to complete.

Investec and Evo’s combined securities division, which will make up Investec’s UK investment bank, will continue with some 160 staff after 90 bankers were cut this week.

Of those, about 60 were slashed from the Evolution side and 30 from Investec. Evo’s analyst team was cut down to the bone and the bank also lost its head of fixed income, Gary Jenkins, earlier this month.

Investec managing director Bernard Kantor had previously told City A.M. that a worsening of the economic environment could lead to more job cuts.

“As much as we don’t like to hire and fire, we have to live in the same world as everyone else,” he said following the bank’s third-quarter results.

The bank’s new merged securities UK division will be headed by David Currie.