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Ince offloads corporate advisor business – seven months after buying it

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Sale comes as ex-boss Biles purchases new firm

Listed law firm Ince is to sell the subsidiary advisory business it purchased only seven months ago for £10 million.

The outfit confirmed this morning that financial services business Zeus Group will take ownership of Arden Partners for an initial cash payment of £1 million. This sum is on the basis of there being £1 million of free cash in Arden and no material outstanding debt, according to an announcement to the London Stock Exchange.

A further payment of £2 million will be made based on certain Arden revenues received by Zeus in the three months following the sale.

Commenting on the sale, Donnie Brown, who was executive director of Arden Partners at the time the advisory business was acquired by Ince and is now CEO of the listed law firm, said:

“In challenging market and economic conditions, the disposal of Arden will allow Ince to focus its resources on its core legal business where there are increasing opportunities. It also benefits Arden whose clients and employees will become part of a much larger business that is well positioned in the London equity markets. We continue with our re-focused strategy for growth and cost rationalisation which is already achieving positive results.”

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The disposal is particularly eye-catching given that Ince only acquired the corporate finance and stockbroking business in April of this year. In the run-up to its completion, Arden’s application for nominated adviser status was rejected, and in turn prevented the business from advising on listings on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) — a lucrative option for smaller companies owing to its lower listing requirements.

Elsewhere in Ince news, former boss Adrian Biles has purchased London outfit Child & Child, some two months after his exit from the firm. He is now the firm’s new managing partner, according to his LinkedIn.

Biles announced earlier this summer he would step down from his post as chief executive of Ince, but he was subsequently removed as director due to a possible “conflict of interest“.

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