Surprise move could possibly see major Fenland based financial services company taken over

ONE of the country’s largest financial advice companies – based in Fenland- could fall under new ownership after a possible buyer emerged.

Officials at Wisbech-based Clarkson Hill Group (CHG) confirmed an offer had been made for the business by an unnamed party, and talks are continuing.

The firm employs 340 advisers in 10 offices nationally, including its Wisbech headquarters, and offers investment advice for wealthy individuals, professionals, companies and private investors.

No one from CHG was available for comment but statements published on its website showed the company had undergone a “significant turnaround” in fortunes earlier this year, reporting �47,853 profits before tax in the six months to June 30, compared to losses of �178,479 in the same period of 2009.

Turnover increased 12pc to �9.6m over the same period.

But the company remains in talks with regulatory body Financial Services Authority concerning issues with its regulatory capital requirement, which surfaced in July.

A statement said: “The board of CHG announces that it has received an approach regarding a possible offer for the company.

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“There can be no certainty that an acceptable offer will ultimately be made.

“A further announcement will be made in due course.”

The company floated on the Alternative Investment Market in 2006, but was suspended for a day in July after failing to submit its accounts on time.

The company share price rose about 50pc to 3p after news of the possible sale broke.

A statement in CHG’s half-yearly report for the first half of 2010 said: “The increase in turnover reflects an improvement in consumer confidence in the first six months of the year.

“Whilst operating costs were 1.6pc higher than 2009 the restructuring programmes begun last year have resulted in an overall improvement in operating efficiency at 17.3pc (2009: 19.2pc).”

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