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Float or sale for £600m Hargreaves Lansdown

Founders own 80% of company as they look to diversify their assets.

Peter Hargreaves has put a minimum £600m price tag on Hargreaves Lansdown as the firm considers a float on Aim alongside other options, including a trade sale.

Hargreaves and co-founder Stephen Lansdown hold an 80 per sent stake in the firm and this would value their shares at £240m each although Hargreaves says they want to keep a controlling stake. They have appointed boutique investment bank Lexicon Partners to examine their options.

Hargreaves says the pair have around 98 per cent of their assets in the business and a flotation on Aim would enable them to reduce this concentration and pass shares on to their families in a tax-efficient way.

He says the pair would look to keep a controlling interest in the business. Lansdown is expected to step back from the day-to-day running of the company. Hargreaves adds he expects to be in the industry for at least another 10 years.

He says: “This has been an incredibly successful business and Stephen and I are both looking to take some money off the table. We both have around 98 per cent of our assets in the platform and clearly that is too many eggs in one basket but we would still want a controlling share in the business. What we are doing is ensuring we have perpetuity for our families once we are both dead so they can sell shares if they need to.”

Blue Planet Worldwide Financials investment trust manager Kenneth Murray says: “This would definitely be a stock we would look at, particularly as I know both Peter Hargreaves and Stephen Lansdown. I would still look at their flotation of shares on Aim even if the two founders retained a controlling interest as they have done a marvellous job with the business up to now.”

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