Westhouse to buy Arbuthnot investment unit

STOCKBROKING group Westhouse Holdings said it would buy the investment banking unit of Arbuthnot Banking Group for an undisclosed sum to take advantage of a potential consolidation in the corporate broking market.

Westhouse, which has seen a growth in the number of its corporate clients since the end of June, said it expected the deal to further enhance its clientele.

“It is clear that there is overcapacity in the small to medium sized company corporate broking and advisory market and that, as a result, consolidation is a strategic opportunity,” chairman Garth Milne said in a statement.

Last month, Arbuthnot Banking, valued at £50m, had said it would float its Secure Trust Bank division on London’s junior market AIM, as part of plans to develop its business and compete with Britain’s major lenders in the wake of the financial crisis.