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Alexander Forbes back on the UK acquisition trail

Independent financial risk services company Alexander Forbes is set to hit the UK acquisition trail again after securing £100m of offshore funds.

The South African-based company, which acquired IFA Johnstone Douglas in April, says the move is part of its strategy to expand its presence in the UK retail client market. It expects to announce further acquisitions this year.

Alexander Forbes is raising the funds by listing exchangeable bonds on the Luxemburg Stock Exch-ange. The bonds have been fully subscribed by RFS Holdings.

The bonds can be exchanged at any time for 53.7 million Alexander Forbes shares, which would represent an equity stake of around 14 per cent in the company.

The bond issue will be used to repay £30m of bank borrowings raised for the acquisition of Johnstone Douglas.

Alexander Forbes is listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and has its international headquarters in London. It specialist areas include risk management, risk finance, insurance underwriting and multi-manager investment.

Group chief executive Graeme Kerrigan: “Our planned UK acquisitions include financial services businesses like Johnstone Douglas as well as the purchase of retail broking businesses on a selective basis.”

International development director Quintin Heaney says: “We principally are looking to acquire client bases within our area of expertise, including retail broking. We are hoping to make a number of announcements before the end of the year.”


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