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Journalism - The Guardian

Saturday November 30, 2002

Seymour Pierce bid pushes shares up 30%

UK stockbroker Seymour Pierce yesterday confirmed it had received a bid for the company and was in discussions with other parties.

The announcement followed speculation of a management buy-out by non-executive director and significant shareholder Nigel Wray and Alchemy Partners' chief executive Jon Moulton. The deal, thought to be worth 8p a share, pushed shares up nearly 30% to 6.5p.

Seymour Pierce has promised a further announcement - presumably just before or during its full-year results, expected next week. Meanwhile, speculation is rife that a competitor will come in with a higher bid. UK brokers Peel Hunt, financial services company Evolution Group and Anglo-Dutch investment bank Insinger de Beaufort have all so far refused to comment on rumours of their interest.

Seymour Pierce shares slumped last month after it announced a "substantial" trading loss due to a collapse in profitable merger and acquisition work and a fall in technology stocks. Chief executive John Mackay resigned. The resulting share price put the company at little more than its cash value.



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