Skandia is in talks to acquire Lynx Group plc, and its subsidiary Bankhall - the UK's largest provider of support services to independent financial advisors (IFA).
Skandia has submitted a bid for £1.20 per share and values Lynx Group at £210 million. The acquisition would be followed by the agreed disposal (by a management buy out) of the Lynx Group IT businesses for £60 million.
Key Bankhall management will remain with the company and will own 14% of the shares.
Alan Wilson, head of Skandia's UK operations and executive vice president of Skandia comments: "This acquisition is entirely in line with Skandia's global strategy of expanding and deepening our co-operation with financial advisers. Growing numbers of consumers are in need of and want financial advice. The acquisition of Bankhall will help accelerate the development and delivery of new services for this expanding market."
IFAs account for 60% of the sales of long term savings products in the UK, adds Wilson.
Bankhall's turnover in 2001 totalled £63.2 million, with profits standing at £7.8 million. The firm provides services to more than 4500 IFAs working for some 2000 firms.