Billionaires' Midas merges with iimia

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Midas Capital Partners, a UK asset management house backed by billionaires and a private equity grandee, has agreed to merge with a rival, boosting its assets by 70 per cent to £2.9bn.

The Liverpool-based group yesterday announced it was to merge with iimia MitonOptimal, an AIM-listed fund manager, wealth management and corporate services company, in a deal worth £100m.

Jon Moulton, the head of the private equity group Alchemy Partners, holds a stake in Midas, which also manages more than £20m of his personal assets. Mr Moulton has been labelled a pioneer in the buyout industry, launching ventures that would later become CVC Capital Partners and Permira, and serving as head of buyouts at Apax Partners. He set up Alchemy in 1997.

Trevor Hemmings, who owns the Blackpool Tower and is estimated to be worth close to £1bn, is an investor and holds a stake in the group.

It emerged last month that Mark Coombs, the billionaire who founded the emerging markets fund manager Ashmore, has a 5 per cent stake in Midas.

Yesterday's deal has been structured as a reverse takeover, with iimia set to pay £100.3m. Of that, £59m will be in cash and the rest in newly issued shares.

The merger will create a multi-asset fund management business with £2.9bn of assets under management. Shareholders will vote on the deal at an extraordinary meeting at the beginning of March.

Launched five years ago, Midas holds £1.7bn in assets under management. Its chief executive, Simon Edwards, a former chief investment officer of the Merseyside Pension fund, said the merger "represents a new chapter in our history". He said the confidence in the merged group was demonstrated by the Midas management team's decision to reinvest at least £20m into the group.

Michael Phillips, the chief executive of iimia MitonOptimal, will become the chief executive of the merged group.