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New Star turning its sights on Govett

New Star Asset Management is believed to be eyeing Govett Investments for its next acquisition, according to industry sources.

Govett, which is owned by the Allied Irish Bank, manages around £9bn of assets and is thought to be well within New Star chairman John Duffield&#39s budget for acquisitions, which is understood to be in excess of £200m.

Last week, Duffield ann-ounced he is to hold a £25m share issue to increase the firm&#39s acquisition coffers.

Govett has failed to make a major impression in the UK fund management market so far and laid off 10 per cent of its workforce in October which it blamed on September 11.

With a strong presence in the investment trust market as well as a top-performing US fund, Govett would be a good fit with New Star, which has no significant presence in either area.

Hargreaves Lansdown head of research Mark Dampier says: “They are one of the firms that has never really done anything – they have just drifted. Someone like John Duffield might be just what they need. They laid a lot of staff off recently, so they are clearly watching their costs. It seems a plausible deal.”

New Star finance director Rupert Ruvigny says: “We are in discussions with, and looking at, a number of different companies but we will not comment on any individual companies.”

Govett chief executive officer Noel McEvoy denied suggestions that Govett is in talks with New Star.


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