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Lighthouse buys Berkeley Wodehouse in £2m deal

IFA Lighthouse Group and network Berkeley Wodehouse Associates are merging in a deal valued at £2.1m that sees two Lighthouse directors quit.

Wealth management firm Lighthouse is paying for BWA in shares worth £2.1m in a reverse takeover as BWA has a higher turnover the Lighthouse.

The deal sees BWA chief executive Malcolm Streat-field become joint managing director for the enlarged group, alongside Light-house managing director Nick Hamson.

Lighthouse has also raised a further £2.2m from shareholders to pay the costs of the acquisition, which are estimated at around £500,000 and to repay a £343,500 debt owed to BWA founders, leaving the firm with over £1m for acquisitions.

In a statement to the Stock Exchange, Aim-listed Lighthouse, which has 135 RIs, announced a loss of £2.8m, which includes exceptional items, on sales of £5.2m for 2001.

Lighthouse finance director Kevin Lawrence and operations director Simon Leadsom leave the firm as BWA&#39s Streatfield is joined on the board by new group finance director Paivi Grigg from BWA and deputy chairman Matthew Goldsmith from Lighthouse. Lighthouse chairman David Hickey becomes chairman of the enlarged group.

BWA, which has 199 RIs from 150 network member firms, will continue to be run by Streat-field and will retain its name. Goldsmith will run Lighthouse&#39s City office and Hamson will control its IFA offices nationwide.

Lighthouse will offer BWA member firms a route to full integration through a stepped branding scheme and says it has identified a dozen firms of the right size and set-up for absorption if they want it.

Hickey says: “There are around 12 firms of the right size that would fit comfortably inside Light-house. If they want to join us, that would be great but it will be up to them.”

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