Raymond Doherty 30 Aug 2017 12:07pm

Bidding war over Smith & Williamson

Tilney Bestinvest has made a late bid to hijack Rathbones' proposed £2bn merger with Smith & Williamson

Tilney, with £23bn assets under management, has made an all cash offer for S&W, according to a report from Sky News.

Last week it was confirmed that a tie-up between Rathbones Brothers and the mid-tier accountancy and investment management firm was at an advanced stage.

Rathbones was close to agreeing the formal terms of a £2bn deal, giving Smith & Williamson (S&W) nearly a £600m valuation.

Today, however, it has emerged that Tilney, which has recently acquired Ingenious and Towry, made a last-ditch attempt to gazump Rathbones. S&W management would prefer the initial Rathbones deal, according to the report from Sky.

S&W, the UK’s eighth largest firm by fee income, reported double-digit rises in its operating income and adjusted operating profit thanks to significant growth in its tax, investment management, banking and business services divisions this year.

Its operating profit also rose 22% to £17.7m, with profits in investment management and banking rising 21% and its tax and business services more than doubling from £1m to £2.4m. S&W manages more than £19bn for clients.

Last month the firm promoted 13 new partners across several departments.