A so-called “blank cheque” company set up by a group of financiers is weighing a merger with Lombard International, one of the largest UK-based wealth management groups.
Sky News has learnt that Kingswood Acquisition Corp, which listed in New York late last year, is among a number of suitors expected to table bids for Lombard in the coming days.
If successful, Kingswood’s merger with Lombard would be among the first examples of a UK-based financial services business listing in the US via a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC).
City sources said that Apollo Global Management was among the other likely bidders for Lombard, which has been owned by Blackstone since 2014.
Analysts have suggested that the wealth manager, which had more than €47bn in assets under administration last June, could fetch around €700m.
One source said Blackstone was expected to proceed towards signing a formal deal later in the spring, with other bidders also involved in the process.
Kingswood Acquisition, which is sponsored by the major shareholders in Kingswood Group, a UK-based wealth management firm, is understood to have identified Lombard as an attractive target to accelerate its growth ambitions.
Lombard is run by Stuart Parkinson, who was appointed as chief executive last year following a long stint running HSBC’s private banking operations.
Pollen Street Capital, a private equity firm, is also a backer of the SPAC.
Blank cheque companies have raised an unprecedented sum of money in the last 12 months to transform the landscape for mergers and initial public offerings in the US.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch is advising Blackstone on the prospective sale, while Oppenheimer is advising Kingswood.
Blackstone declined to comment, while Kingswood could not be reached.