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Gartmore reckoned to be set for flotation

Gartmore is reportedly being prepared for a stockmarket flotation that could take place before Christmas.

Parent company Hellman & Friedman, the American private equity house, has appointed Morgan Stanley and Citibank as joint underwriters in charge of a flotation ahead of an initial public offering, according to reports last week in The Times.

Hellman & Friedman became Gartmore’s majority owner in 2006 after paying Nationwide Mutual around £550m in a deal which locked in the majority of the group’s leading fund managers.

A value on a possible flotation has not been established but the report suggests it is likely to fall below the £1.5bn mooted in July 2007 when a flotation of the firm was previously discussed.

At the end of September, assets under management for Gartmore totalled £20.3bn.

Gartmore refused to comment on the speculation.

Hargreaves Lansdown investment manager Ben Yearsley says: “I do not think it is either good or bad in itself but, being public, there is more scrutiny about how much debt a company has in its business. You have also got to question how long key senior managers who own a large a big chunk of the equity might stay because they would have got an exit route for their shares.”

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