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Venture firm takes 22.5% stake in LEBC

Venture capital firm BP Marsh & Partners is set to pay almost 2m for the 22.5 per cent equity stake it has acquired in national IFA firm LEBC.

The initial investment is 1.78m with a potential final payment of up to a further 182,250 based on the audited results to May 31, 2007 – a total potential consideration of up to 1.97m.

LEBC, an appointed representative of Sesame, specialises in employee benefits, investment and life product and has 56 advisers working from 11 branches.

BP Marsh has previously invested in IFA firm Thomson’s and hopes to repeat this success with LEBC. It says it has plans to invest in additional advice firms. The company says it financed the acquisition from existing cash resources that were raised when the company floated on the alternative Investment Market last February. It adds that it would consider acquiring a bigger stake in LEBC if further shares become available.

BP Marsh director Tasha Dunbar is to join the LEBC board.

BP Marsh chairman Brian Marsh says: “LEBC is a high-quality financial services business in which we are delighted to be given the opportunity to assist in its next phase of growth and development. Following our prior experience in growing an IFA business, we see similar potential in LEBC.”

LEBC Group chief executive Jack McVitie says: “BP Marsh & Partners are the perfect partners for LEBC at this time. They understand that our independence is of paramount importance to us in being able to provide truly independent financial advice to all clients.”

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