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Kleinwort Benson acquires COG in GBP29.1m deal

Kleinwort Benson has agreed a deal to acquire Close Brothers Offshore Group (COG) for a cash consideration of GBP29.1m, subject to adjustments by reference to the net asset position of the business at the time of completion.

The acquisition comprises COG’s private banking, fund administration, fund management, trust and asset management businesses across Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man. It also includes COG’s wholly-owned shared service centre in Cape Town.

The purchase increases the size of Kleinwort Benson’s private wealth assets under management to approximately GBP7bn. It extends Kleinwort Benson’s offshore reach with an additional presence in the Isle of Man and South Africa, enhancing and consolidating its position in the offshore banking and fiduciary services markets. The purchase of COG will strengthen Kleinwort Benson’s banking proposition, both in terms of liquidity and capital base.

The transaction, which has the full support of Kleinwort Benson’s shareholder, RHJ International SA, is being made by Kleinwort Benson Channel Islands Holdings Limited, and is subject to approval by the relevant regulatory bodies. The transaction is expected to be completed by the end of COG’s financial year (i.e. 31 July).

“The acquisition of COG is in keeping with Kleinwort Benson’s strategy of developing its on and offshore business,” says Sally Tennant (pictured), Chief Executive Officer of Kleinwort Benson. “It will add further scale and strength to our banking and fiduciary businesses, enhancing our client offering with the addition of innovative products and new distribution channels. The combined business will have enormous strength and depth in terms of its people, services and systems.”

Close Brothers Offshore Group currently employs 350 people across the four jurisdictions, with Kleinwort Benson employing 358 in the Channel Islands, and 271 in the UK.

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