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40 bidders are vying to buy Aaron

The David Aaron Partnership could be sold within a fortnight after administrators KPMG said it was confident of securing a deal by mid-January with one of 40 interested parties.

The firm was placed in the hands of KPMG on December 22, days after Money Marketing revealed that six of its 13 RIs had left to launch Bates Investment Services&#39 first regional office. The exodus came after Bates&#39 owner, The Money Portal, ditched plans to acquire DAP in November after “insurmountable” problems during due diligence.

The firm is known to have sold large numbers of structured products, which are under FSA scrutiny. But KPMG partner Finbar O&#39Connell says there are around 40 parties, mainly other IFA firms, interested in buying the business.

O&#39Connell says: “We should have pinpointed a purchaser – which will be another regulated entity – and be down to contract stage by the middle of the month. My key focus is to preserve the trading business and ensure service to clients.”

DAP chairman David Aaron says he does not want to comment at this stage.

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