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AFH Financial buys Arden in £924k deal

The Arden Court Group has been bought by listed adviser firm AFH Financial Group in a deal worth up to £924,000.

AFH will pay £362,000 up front, £25,000 in shares. After two years up to £337,000 may also be payable depending on Arden’s performance. Loan notes worth £225,000 will be converted into shares 13 months after the deal at a rate also based on performance.

The acquisition is AFH’s seventh since floating on the PLUS stock exchange with 53 advisers last year. Nine of Arden’s advisers will move to AFH’s Bromsgrove headquarters taking their total number of advisers to 80. Arden’s managing director Nat Parmar will become AFH’s regional director for the north.

In a statement to the stock market this morning AFH Financial said: “The directors of AFH believe that the acquisition will further enhance AFH’s operational strength and that the group remains well placed to prosper in the  years ahead.”

Arden has around 2,500 clients with total assets under management of around £100m.

In October 2009, Arden Court signed up with IFA consolidation vehicle Succession Advisory Services. Arden Group owner and principal Nat Parmer says he decided against staying with Succession because of different business models. “I have a multi-adviser business and Succession wanted to corporatise the client banks, whereas my model is that my guys are all self employed and have their own clients and assets under management,” he says.

Succession chief executive Simon Chamberlain says: “As 15 per cent shareholder in Arden Court we are delighted with the acquisition.”

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