Cenkos takeover talks with Arden collapse

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The broking house Cenkos Securities failed in its second takeover attempt of the year yesterday after negotiations with Arden Partners collapsed, and rivals prepared to muscle in on the deal.

Cenkos announced yesterday that discussions over an offer “have now ceased,” just three months after talks over a £1.6bn bid for Close Brothers fell apart. Arden, which is based in Birmingham, added it had received approaches from other parties.

One source close to the bidder said the deal hit an impasse over valuing the target. Sources close to the other side thought other factors contributed to the deal’s collapse. “Cenkos were really keen to get a deal done, and they got pretty close. Rivals came in and it was Arden’s duty to the shareholders to evaluate them. It slowed the whole process down and Cenkos didn’t want to hang around.”

Arden declined to reveal the identity of at least three interested parties. There is understood to be some interest from India, although it is unlikely to come from Religare, which recently agreed to buy Hichens, Harrison & Co.

One market source suggested that companies including Inam, India Bulls, and Kotak Mahindra could be in the frame.