Deal sealed

Nucleus acquires Curtis Banks for £242 million

Richard Rowney: benefits of scale

Nucleus, the Edinburgh-founded financial wrap platform, has announced the acquisition of SIPP provider Curtis Banks Group in a recommended cash deal worth £242 million.

Shareholders will receive 350p per Curtis Banks share, a 32.1% premium to the closing price before the commencement of the offer period.

The deal has been announced ahead of a 5pm deadline on Monday after Nucleus and Curtis confirmed in November that they were in talks.

The transaction will bring create a retirement-focused adviser platform with approximately £80 billion of assets under administration.

Advisers currently served by Curtis Banks will also benefit from access to a broader suite of platform services available within the Nucleus Group’s existing offering, including ISAs, GIAs and onshore and offshore bonds, enabling financial advisers to help make retirement more rewarding for their customers.

Nucleus was co-founded in Edinburgh by David Ferguson and was sold in a £145m deal to James Hay Partnership in August 2021, subsequently becoming the Nucleus Group. Mr Ferguson left the business soon after the deal was completed and later joined Seccl as CEO.

Nucleus, now headquartered in Salisbury, has hired 120 staff in the last year alone.

Our story before Christmas that a deal was imminent

It said the acquisition of Bristol-headquartered Curtis Banks represents an attractive opportunity for the group to advance its stated strategy of creating one of the UK’s leading adviser platforms.

Curtis Banks has unanimously recommended that its shareholders vote in favour of the transaction, while Curtis Banks directors who hold shares have irrevocably undertaken to do so themselves.

Additionally, Nucleus has received irrevocable undertakings to vote in favour of the transaction from Christopher Banks, Rupert Curtis, Sally Curtis and Paul Tarran (the founding shareholders of Curtis Banks),

Oryx International Growth Fund and Odyssean Investment Trust, who in total represent approximately 49% of Curtis Banks’ issued share capital are backing the deal.

Letters of intent have been received from those representing 54% of Curtis Banks’ issued share capital.

Richard Rowney, group CEO of the Nucleus Group, said: “Our ambition remains to create the UK’s leading platform, exclusively for financial advisers to help them make retirement more rewarding for their customers. We’re already demonstrating the benefits of scale, enabling investment in technology, people, products, price and service.

David Barral, executive chairman of Curtis Banks, said: “The board of Curtis Banks is pleased to be recommending the Nucleus Group’s offer for the company, which represents a significant premium in cash and offers certain value for our shareholders.

“Curtis Banks recognises Nucleus’ established reputation and strength in the adviser platform market, as well as our shared customer-centric approach and aligned corporate values.

“The combined group’s greater scale, efficient platform, broader product proposition and enhanced ability to invest in technology and service will benefit all stakeholders.”

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