UK retail share distribution platform EO is to acquire Sweden's EPO.com for an undisclosed sum, in an all share transaction valuing EO shares at £1.50 each.
The partnership will increase EO's registered user base to over 175,000 online members and provide a retail investor reach of over 16m users across Europe through combined distribution agreements with retail share dealing partners. These include Charles Schwab Europe, Barclays Stockbrokers, Sharepeople, Stockacademy, Stocktrade, E*trade, Yahoo!, GlobalNetFinancial.com, Tiscali and Ciaoweb, ADVFN, hemscott.NET, moneyextra.com and OM Stockholm Stock Exchange.
EO is hoping to build critical mass for future deal flow. Between them, EO and EPO have so far distributed shares in 50 issues, including the Swedish national debt office, Deutsche Post, and Carphone Warehouse. EO says the combined operation will create an attractive single pipeline of future deal flow through existing partnerships with UBS Warburg, NewMedia Spark and Noble & Co together with EPO.com’s relationships with European issuers.
Ola Lauritzson, currently CEO of EPO.com, has been asked to join the board of EO as marketing director. Other recent board appointments include Sir Michael Jenkins, vice chairman of Dresdner Kleinwort Benson, Ronald Freeman, ex-vice chairman of Schroders Salomon Smith Barney and Lynn Dukes, former managing director at UBS as non-executive directors.
The Offer is subject to the approval of the UK and Swedish financial services regulators. Agreement to the conditional terms of the offer has been received from shareholders accounting for over approximately 60% of EPO.com’s shares.