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BBN shareholders back £48m Berkeley buyout

The £47.7m acquisition of Ber-keley Independent network by IFA Berry Birch & Noble gained shareholder approval last week, with about 50 per cent of the network&#39s members taking share options.

The move was given the go-ahead at an EGM last week by about 94 per cent of existing shareholders, giving the deal unconditional acceptance.

The new company will be called Berkeley Berry Birch.

Just under 300 of the network&#39s 550 members have bought up to 2.5 million shares in the group, which gives them the chance to be part of its future growth.

BBB says it was oversubscribed, with applications for 2.6 million shares.

Clerical Medical, Friends Prov-ident, Norwich Union, Scottish Widows and Skandia have each invested £2.5m in the new firm.

A full marketing launch for the new venture is planned for spring when a new logo will be unveiled.

Group marketing director Ste-phen Ingledew says: “The commitment from network members is shown by the fact that just under half bought shares and that we were oversubscribed.”

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