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Towergate buys John Charcol and looks to cross-sell

Towergate Financial has bought John Charcol after the brokerage went into administration earlier this week.

The national mortgage broker, which had debts of £7m in its last published accounts, was offered to Towergate on February 15 and went into administration on February 22.

Towergate says John Charcol will continue to operate as a whole-of-market mortgage broker under its own brand. The management team of John Moulton, John Garfield, Walter Avrili and Charles Wishart will remain and Towergate says it will not be making redundancies.

Towergate says John Charcol’s single-tie protection deal with Legal & General will be reass-essed “very quickly” but could not confirm if it will be severed.

John Charcol was founded in 1974 by Garfield, Wishart and Colin Studd. They sold it to Bradford & Bingley for £102.5m in 2000.

After rebranding as Charcol and unsuccessfully integrating with B&B’s Marketplace, Moulton and Advantage Capital bought back the brokerage for £10m in 2004. In 2008, the directors were forced to inject £5m into the business on top of an investment of £1.5m in 2007. At the start of 2008, John Charcol was put up for sale with a reported £50m price tag.

Towergate Financial chief executive Ian Darby, who was also a former chairman of John Charcol, says: “It is an RDR-friendly business that fits comfortably within Towergate. The deal offers a lot of cross-selling opportunities.”

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