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Money Portal back on acquisition trail

The Money Portal is planning to make four multi-million-pound acquisitions to set the pace in the investment intermediary marketplace.

The investment firm run by Richard Craven is looking to get off to a flying start this year after a difficult 2004 and focus on bolting together more financial services businesses.

After buying Bates Investment Services, TMP had a tough year in 2004 as it went through a management reshuffle, the collapse of a major business deal and a director fallout.

After recruiting senior management who would be able to punch their weight in City negotiations, Craven is ready to continue buying firms to build up critical mass. He wants TMP to dictate its role in the markets rather than being swayed by product providers.

The first TMP acquisition was in January 2003, with the purchase of Willis Owen for £2.2m cash and £4m in loan notes. This was followed in February 2003 with Harrington Communications, The Isa Shop and three subsidiary businesses in May 2003, and finally Bates Investment Services and WiseUp Money in September 2003.

“It has been a frustrating year but we are ready to build again,” says Craven.

At this early stage, it is not yet known who TMP is looking to target.

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