Weir Group dumps Bank of America Merrill Lynch over rival's contract


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The Independent Online

Scottish engineer Weir Group has ditched Bank of America Merrill Lynch after it was hired by one of its arch-rivals.

The US broker has been appointed by giant IMI, leading the oil and gas industry engineer to terminate its contract with Merrill Lynch and begin the hunt for advisers to work alongside existing broker UBS.

IMI chief executive Mark Selway, who took the reins in January, led Weir from 2001 to 2009, working alongside Merrill Lynch. It is understood Weir was concerned the rivals could fight to acquire the same businesses, with Merrill Lynch’s advice potentially conflicted.

Weir remains acquisitive after its abortive £3.7 billion bid for Finnish engineer Metso in May. Last month it was linked to a potential £1.7 billion offer for Finnish mineral processing firm Outotec but there has been no formal bid.

Shares in Weir slipped 34p to 2527p today. IMI declined to comment.

Selway said last week that the company aimed to double its profits by 2019 through organic growth and acquisitions and had already lined up a raft of deals in the oil and gas sector.

IMI’s half-year profits fell 9 per cent to £106 million as strong sterling hit its balance sheet.