Investment house Johnson Fry has ended its search for a partner with the announcement of a £41.9m cash offer from US fund manager Legg Mason.
Legg Mason which has £57bn funds under management fought off 20 other contenders to win the prize.
The US firm is offering 275p per share.
It is not known whether the Johnson Fry name will be preserved post takeover.
The acquisition will give Legg Mason a foothold in the UK savings and pensions market which is expected to grow rapidly with the introduction of stakeholder pensions in 2001.