Execution 'close to agreeing purchase price' for Noble

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The Independent Online

Execution, the brokerage run by the former Deutsche Bank trader Nick Finegold, is believed to be in negotiations to buy Noble, the investment bank that focuses on mid- and small-cap companies.

The pair is thought to be close to agreeing a price that would see Execution buy Noble, headed by its chief executive, Angus Macpherson, a former banker at Lazard and Merrill Lynch, where he headed the capital markets group.

According to the latest filings at Companies House, Noble Group posted an operating loss of £5.7m for the year to the end of November 2008. It employs more than 100 staff across offices in London, Edinburgh and Mumbai. It bought Clear Capital, a mid and small cap equity research business, last year.

Execution is thought to have turned down an offer from big spending Barclays Capital to buy the group earlier this year. Mr Finegold scooped around £3m in 2007 from the sale of a 10 per cent stake in Execution to HBOS, which at the time valued the company at more than £100m.

Ben Thomson, the chairman of Noble, said: "We are looking at a number of strategic options at present but nothing has been agreed."