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Buyers circle around BestInvest

The deadline for first-round bidding on BestInvest is believed to have closed last Friday with Palamon Capital Partners and the private equity arm of fund manager Hermes touted as the early favourites for the financial advice and investment group.

The firm is believed to be up for sale for a minimum of £150m, a figure that would net chairman John Spiers some £120m for his 80 per cent share.

Spiers founded the company with Roger Carroll back in 1986, with the latter selling his stake a decade later. Spiers himself stepped down as chief executive officer earlier this year allowing Andrew Barnes taking on the role.

The bids, from at least a dozen firms, come after BestInvest appointed KPMG about two months ago to look over a plethora options for the business.

A possible floatation had been mooted in the press earlier this year, but sources say that is likely to be the least viable avenue the firm will persue.

Of all the bidders, Palamon, has a strong track record for investing in IFA firms, having acquired the likes of John Scott & Partners and Towry Law in the past four years.

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