Bob Diamond joins takeover bid for City stockbroking firm

Mr Diamond was branded the unacceptable face of banking
Mr Diamond was branded the unacceptable face of banking

Former Barclays chief executive Bob Diamond has launched a joint takeover bid for City stockbroker Panmure Gordon.

Mr Diamond is making the bid through his private equity firm Atlas Merchant Capital, alongside Qatari bank QInvest, which holds around 43% of Panmure.

The deal, for 100p per share, values Panmure at £15.5 million and represents a 68% premium.

Panmure’s board has recommended the offer to shareholders who will vote on the deal.

The group said in a statement that Panmure’s board “unanimously consider the cash consideration to be fair and reasonable” and that it already has the backing of 60% of investors.

Once complete, the deal will see Panmure, one of the country’s oldest stockbrokers, delisted from the London market and taken private.

The move marks a comeback for Mr Diamond, who quit Barclays after the bank’s £290 million Libor-rigging settlement in 2012.

Mr Diamond was regarded at the time as a brash American investment banker - once described by Lord Mandelson as the ‘’unacceptable face of banking’’ due to his lavish pay deals - a tag that ended up tarnishing Barclays as it became embroiled in the Libor sandal.

Matthew Hansen, the UK head of Atlas, said: “We believe there is significant opportunity for Atlas, in partnership with QInvest, to apply our operational skills and financial services expertise to enhance Panmure Gordon’s strong reputation and build a larger, successful boutique investment bank.

“This long-term stabilisation and development can only realistically be achieved as a private company, out of the glare of the public market and the effects of share price movement.”