TSB sells broking arm to rival

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The Independent Online
IN A DEAL that creates one of Britain's largest private client stockbrokers, TSB Group has sold its stockbroking arm Bell Lawrie White to the rival firm of Brewin Dolphin.

The two stockbrokers, each with close to 200 employees, will form a firm looking after pounds 4bn on behalf of more than 32,000 clients. Bell Lawrie White will continue to trade under its own name, its strength in Scotland and the North complementing Brewin Dolphin's business in London and the South.

TSB said its disposal of BLW was in line with its strategy of selling non- core businesses where it receives acceptable offers.

Brewin Dolphin's purchase of a firm its equal in size comes only a year after a pounds 6m management buyout from Scandinavian Bank. The BLW deal is worth about pounds 7m including repayment of debt to TSB.

Brewin Dolphin has financed the purchase with a rights issue. In addition 40 senior BLW staff, led by Derek McIntosh, managing director, have subscribed for shares which give them about 25 per cent of the enlarged Brewin Dolphin Holdings.

John Hall, Brewin Dolphin's managing director, said the valuation of his firm's shares had risen from 400p to 560p since the buyout.

Thorold Mackie, the investment analyst who was recently convicted and fined pounds 25,000 for insider dealing, is among the Bell Lawrie staff joining Brewin Dolphin. However, it is understood he was not among the BLW managers invited to subscribe for shares.