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Consultant hired to seek new shareholder for GFH

Guinness Flight Hambro has hired DLJ Phoenix to find it a new shareholder just two weeks after the sale of Bank of Yokohama&#39s stake in the company to Investec.

The management of Guinness Flight Hambro is fuming at BoY for selling its parent company, Guinness Mahon Holdings, as a whole rather than selling its stake in the fund manager separately.

South African-based Investec became the owner of a 44 per cent share in GFH when it bought Guinness Mahon from the Japanese for £95m earlier this month.

A further 44 per cent stake, owned by banking group Hambro, is also on the market.

A GFH spokesman says BoY backed out of an agreement to sell the fund management stake separately.

He says: "Bank of Yokohama obviously decided at the 11th hour that, despite an agreed course of action, they were more concerned with going back to Japan sooner rather than later."

Investec group managing director Bernard Kantor said earlier this month that, although the group&#39s main aim was the acquisition of a banking group, it was keen to establish a fund management operation in the UK, using GFH as a starting point.

He said the group would also be interested in buying the Guinness Flight stake owned by Hambro if it was available.

It is understood that Investec has been trying to convince GFH it is a suitable shareholder that has a lot to offer the group for the future, but GFH is continuing with its own search.

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