Nucleus set to acquire Curtis Banks in £242m deal

Nucleus set to acquire Curtis Banks in £242m deal

Nucleus Financial has offered to acquire Curtis Banks Group for a sum of £242 million.

The transaction will bring together the Nucleus Group, a firm with offices in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Salisbury, and the Curtis Banks Group to create a leading retirement-focused adviser platform with approximately £80 billion of assets under administration (AuA).

Bristol-headquartered Curtis Banks previous operated a Dundee office, but decided not to renew its lease in 2022, moving all staff to remote working conditions.

The combination of Curtis Banks’ SIPP and SSAS product offering and strong presence as a provider to customers with complex retirement needs, with Nucleus’ in the UK platform market will create a comprehensive proposition to support financial advisers and their customers across the full wealth spectrum.

The cash acquisition is for consideration of 350p per Curtis Banks share, a 32.1% premium to the closing price before the commencement of the offer period, representing a total equity value for Curtis Banks of approximately £242m on a fully diluted basis.

Advisers currently served by Curtis Banks will also benefit from access to a broader suite of platform services available within the Nucleus Group’s existing offering, including ISAs, GIAs and onshore and offshore bonds, enabling financial advisers to help make retirement more rewarding for their customers.

The acquisition is conditional on, amongst other things, approval by Curtis Banks shareholders and the receipt of clearances from relevant regulators. It is to be implemented by way of a Scheme of Arrangement and is expected to complete in Q2 2023.

Richard Rowney, CEO of the Nucleus Group, said: “We’re delighted to be announcing the acquisition of Curtis Banks, which on completion will become part of our leading independent adviser platform group, with approximately £80 billion in combined AuA.

“Our ambition remains to create the UK’s leading platform, exclusively for financial advisers to help them make retirement more rewarding for their customers. We’re already demonstrating the benefits of scale, enabling investment in technology, people, products, price and service.

“As one of the UK’s largest independent SIPP and SSAS providers, Curtis Banks not only adds further significant scale to our business but will complement our existing expertise and benefit our combined adviser base providing added flexibility and optionality.”

David Barral, executive chairman of Curtis Banks, said: “The Board of Curtis Banks is pleased to be recommending the Nucleus Group’s offer for the company, which represents a significant premium in cash and offers certain value for our shareholders.

“Curtis Banks recognises Nucleus’ established reputation and strength in the adviser platform market, as well as our shared customer-centric approach and aligned corporate values. The Combined Group’s greater scale, efficient platform, broader product proposition and enhanced ability to invest in technology and service will benefit all stakeholders.”

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