DCSIMG

Cantor Fitzgerald seeking to rescue Seymour Pierce

  • by GARETH MACKIE
 

American financial services group Cantor Fitzgerald is nearing a deal to secure the future of Seymour Pierce, one of the City’s oldest stockbrokers.

It is understood that an announcement could come as soon as today, after talks over the deal continued late into the night.

Seymour Pierce, which traces its name back to 1883, employs 80 people and is best known for advising on the sale of Premier League football clubs, including the 2003 acquisition of Chelsea by Roman Abramovich.

The 130-year-old firm has been hit by a slump in deals in the wake of the financial crisis, and was thought to have lined up administrators at Grant Thornton if talks over bringing in new investment proved fruitless. Recent moves to bring in a Ukrainian investor were blocked by the Financial Services Authority.

Seymour Pierce, which declined to comment, is part-owned by financier Keith Harris, who was a member of the “Red Knights” consortium that launched an unsuccessful bid to buy Manchester United from the Glazer family almost three years ago.

According to the latest available accounts, Seymour Pierce Holdings sank to a pre-tax loss of £587,119 in the year to 30 September 2011, compared with a £617,275 profit the previous year, which the firm said was a “reasonable result in the light of the extremely difficult trading conditions encountered during the year”.

Cantor Fitzgerald, which has said it is seeking to “aggressively expand” in Europe this year, yesterday appointed Anthony Simpson – managing director of investment manager MKP Capital Europe – as a non-executive director to provide “guidance and advice” on its European strategy.

 

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