Investec set to unveil Evo takeover deal

Marion Dakers
EVOLUTION Group hopes to announce as soon as today that Anglo-South African bank Investec has won the race to take over the financial group for around £220m.

Investec is thought to be paying more than 100p a share to buy the business. Talk of an imminent deal was enough to boost Evolution’s shares three per cent to 94p in trading yesterday.

Investec and Canaccord had set out rival bids for Evolution in early August, sending Evo’s shares on an upward trajectory from 73.5p.

Canaccord conceded defeat last night, saying in a statement that it will “no longer proceed with an offer” following its preliminary talks.

It is understood that Investec has agreed to buy Evolution in its entirety, rather than cherry-picking the more lucrative parts of the business such as its Williams DeBroe asset management arm.

Evolution’s broking arm does not expect to make a profit this year, but the asset management group, which holds £6bn in assets under management, has given a rosier outlook.

Alex Snow, Evolution’s chief executive, is expected to remain in charge of the company’s operations following a takeover. But the deal has already claimed the head of finance director Andrew Westenberger, who quit with immediate effect in mid-August.

Evolution declined to comment last night, while Investec did not return calls for comment.

Investec’s managing director Bernard Kantor told City A.M. last month that the deal “makes common sense” for the bank.

“In this day and age you need to be able to get the maximum out of all areas of opportunity and this is one way of achieving those synergies and get more ammunition, more armaments, to take on the market.”