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Inter-Alliance and Millfield merger is on again

Inter-Alliance and Millfield Group are likely to become a single entity within weeks after admitting they have reinitiated merger talks following the collapse of Inter-Alliance&#39s proposed merger deal with Berkeley Berry Birch.

Inter-Alliance and Millfield told the Stock Exchange this week that discussions were making good progress, with both camps believed to be keen to rubberstamp a deal which is likely to boost their fortunes significantly.

Although talks between the two broke down last year, the problems that scuppered that deal are believed to have been largely solved, theoretically paving the way for a hitch-free merger.

The announcement comes just weeks after Inter-Alliance and BBB called a halt to negotiations following their failure to agree the structure and price of a deal.

Analysts are far more confident about a merger between Inter-Alliance and Millfield going ahead as the latter is considered to be in better financial shape than BBB.

The two firms also have similar turnovers although analysts point out that agreeing valuations could prove difficult as Millfield&#39s market capitalisation is far hig-her than Inter-Alliance. They also warn that protracted negotiations could prompt unsettled IA advisers to leave but, as both firms are well known to one other, this is not thought likely to present a serious threat.

Durlacher analyst David Pannell says: “A merger would make a powerful player and it is what the industry needs. I think there is a good chance of this one coming off but it is a question of how long it will take. Inter-Alliance cannot afford more drawn-out negotiations.”

Mortgage Brain chief exec Mark Lofthouse coins words such as co-optition – co-operation and competition – and he wants to smooth the way to regulation for the industry

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