Stockbroker and fund manager Evolution Group yesterday clinched a deal to buy loss-making rival Williams de Broe - which has a long established presence in Birmingham - in a £ 15 million cash agreement.
Dutch bank ING put Williams de Broe and sister firm Williams up for sale some months ago.
Williams was founded in 1869 and provides corporate advisory, stockbroking and fund management services. It had an unaudited loss for the year to December 31 of £3.1 million.
London-based Evolution reportedly beat several other bidders, including Macquarie Bank and a management buyout team backed by Robin Saunders' Clearbrook Capital Partners.
Evolution finance director Graeme Dell said there would be good cost savings from integrating the businesses, as well as benefits from combining Evolution's small and mid-cap focus with Williams de Broe's large and mid- cap offering.
However, he said it was too early to give any estimates on savings or integration costs.
"There are undoubtedly going to be integrations because we both have back-office infrastructure, so obviously you only need one infrastructure to run the organisation," he added.
Evolution, parent company of the private-client stockbroker Christows, which opened a Birmingham office last year, has about 260 staff and Williams de Broe has about 220.
On the private client side Christows' network of regional offices would be an extremely good combination with Williams de Broe's mainly London operation. Mr Dell declined to comment on any possible job cuts.
The deal marks a fresh round of consolidation in Britain's mid-tier stockbroking arena, where booming equity markets over the past three years have attracted a growing number of players.
Last year mid-cap broker Panmure Gordon bought Durlacher, Icelandic bank Landsbanki bought Teather & Greenwood and Bridgewell bought rival Baird.