Kingswood mulls sale of UK business

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Kingswood Holdings has confirmed discussions about a potential sale of its UK business after it was suggested it could fetch up to £250mn.

In an update to the stock exchange today (March 6), the international wealth manager said it was looking at “strategic options”, which included but were not limited to a potential sale of the UK business to a third party.

The potential sale was first reported by The Sunday Times yesterday (March 5), which said Kingswood was working with financial adviser Houlihan Lokey. This has now been confirmed by the wealth manager.

“Kingswood Holdings Limited…notes recent press speculation and confirms that it has engaged Houlihan Lokey as its financial adviser and that discussions have taken place with regard to its strategic options, including, but not limited to, a potential sale or third party investment into the company’s UK business operations,” the firm said.

“There can be no certainty that any transaction will ultimately occur, nor to the structure or terms on which any transaction might take place.”

Kingswood is listed on the Alternative Investment Market. The Sunday Times said a sale would see its US holdings remain under the main group.

In April last year, Kingswood’s UK boss David Lawrence was promoted to group chief executive.

Under Lawrence, the IFA consolidator has grown rapidly through a series of acquisitions – now averaging about 10 deals a year.

Towards the end of last year, Kingswood’s UK arm entered the Scottish market with a £5mn IFA purchase and in September, Kingswood also entered the Irish advice market.

Deals have continued to flow thanks to a new debt facility it announced in October which has a maturity of seven years and provides the firm with £50mn of funding, with the ability to increase the commitment to £150mn should it be needed.

Kingswood’s UK arm finished 2022 with the purchase of Berkshire-based advice firm Barry Fleming & Partners for £6.2mn.

The purchase brought Kingswood’s UK and Ireland assets under management to more than £9bn and its global funds under management to £11.3bn.

The international firm is expected to publish its results for last year in the second quarter of 2023.

In 2021, Kingswood saw its revenue soar 488 per cent as it benefitted from a string of acquisitions.

The wealth and investment management firm saw total revenue rise to £149mn in 2021, with 87 per cent of revenue in the UK recurring.

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