Guinness Peat buys Brown Shipley stake

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GUINNESS PEAT GROUP, Sir Ron Brierley's investment vehicle, has bought 7.5 per cent of Brown Shipley in the market. The fund manager is the subject of an agreed bid by KredietBank of Luxembourg (KBL).

Guinness Peat is understood to have paid 33p a share for its stake, 3p higher than KBL's offer of 30p a share. Brown Shipley shares rose 2p to 35p on the announcement.

A Guinness Peat spokesman said: 'We acquired the stock when it became available, for investment purposes. Anything more than that is speculation.'

The Luxembourg banking group already has 29.9 per cent of Brown Shipley, which now has just stockbroking and fund management divisions, having sold its banking and insurance interests. The banking division was purchased by KBL last year.

KBL's cash offer was agreed at the beginning of the month. At the time, William Dacombe, Brown Shipley's chairman and chief executive, said: 'Taking into account the on-going interests of the business and the clientele, I support the solution this offer brings.'

City sources said Guinness Peat might not bid for Brown Shipley, but was clearly signalling its interest in the company's fate and felt the agreed offer was too low.

There was no comment from Brown Shipley.