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‘Bestinvest was in the frame to buy Pantheon’

Bestinvest was one of the firms to bid for IFA Panth- eon Financial before Friends Provident dropped plans to sell the business, Money Marketing understands.

Friends bought Panth- eon for £24.3m in May 2007 before putting it up for sale eight months later, alongside wealth management business Lombard and its majority stake in F&C Asset Management.

Bestinvest is understood to have looked at a number of IFA firms following its acquisition by private equity firm 3i in summer 2007.

Friends took Pantheon off the table after failing to achieve a sale price deemed suitable value for shareholders.

Bestinvest business manager Hugo Shaw says: “Bestinvest is keen to consider acquis- itions that would reinforce its position as one of the leading wealth managers and is often approached in this regard.”

Chief executive Andrew Barnes says Bestinvest is not in talks to buy Pantheon.

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