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Teather & Greenwood in exclusive sell-off talks.

Byline: Cheryl Cole

Teather & Greenwood yesterday confirmed it was in talks to sell off a chunk of the business.

The City broker, which has been battered by turbulent market conditions recently, said it had received a number of approaches regarding its asset management business and is now in exclusive negotiations.

Chief executive Ken Ford declined to name the suitor for Teather & Greenwood Investment Management (TGIM), although it is understood to be US broker Prudential Bache.

Shares in Teather rose over six per cent on the news at 34 1 /2p, valuing the group at pounds 9.37 million.

The broker has slumped to just over a third of its value a year ago, following a series of profit warnings.

The shares are also way off their peak of 350p, reached in March 2000, at the height of the tech boom.

The business has been hit by weak markets and the grim economic climate, and in July revealed how it had slumped into the red.

Final pre-tax losses came in at pounds 3.8 million against pre-tax profits of pounds 6.3 million 12 months earlier.

Teather has also been forced to slash costs and has reduced its headcount to under 200 from around 300.

And in September, it appointed City firm Hawkpoint to advise it on a sale of TGIM after receiving a number of unsolicited offers.

TGIM, which specialises in private clients, has pounds 1.4 billion of funds under management but is loss-making. Some reports suggest the division could fetch in the region of pounds 10 million.

A sale would leave Teather & Greenwood with a number of other divisions, such as research, corporate finance and institutional stockbroking.

Prudential Bache is the brokerage and investment management business of US insurance and banking giant Prudential Financial.

The group said it would make a further announcement about the talks 'in due course'.
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Nov 19, 2002
Words:311
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