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Friends swoops for Sesame with £100m takeover deals

Friends Provident has bought Sesame and Pantheon Financial Services in a £100m distribution shopping spree.

The firm has paid £75m to Misys in cash for Sesame but the price could rise to £90m depending on its performance at the end of the firm’s next accounting year.

Leeds-based high-net-worth IFA Pantheon Financial Services, which has 32 advisers and 15,000 clients, cost Friends £16.8m, with potentially further performance-based payments over the next three years. The Sesame deal comes just two months after a management buyout was proposed but chief executive Patrick Gale says he welcomes the decision.

Misys says its losses on the disposal of Sesame have been reduced from around £50m, as previously predicted, to between £25m and £30m.

Gale says: “Misys obviously felt the Friends Provident offer was a better deal for the shareholders than an MBO. The current management team, including myself, will all be staying on during this next important phase.”

Former Misys board member Ivan Martin will join Sesame as non-executive chairman when the deal is completed.

Sesame and Pantheon will continue to operate autonomously, retaining their brands, staff and offices.

Gale says: “This will not have an impact on our independence and the investment will allow us to continue to grow and develop the business.”

Friends marketing and UK distribution managing director Simon Clamp says: “The quality of the management team and the profitability of Sesame attracted us to it. Any distribution firm had to be profitable in their own right and they are. The executive management in each business will stay in place.”

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