(Bloomberg) — Warburg Pincus has been considering an acquisition of U.K. wealth manager Quilter Plc, people familiar with the matter said.
The private equity firm has recently held discussions about a possible bid for London-based Quilter, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. While Warburg Pincus isn’t currently in formal talks with Quilter, it remains interested in a potential deal, the people said.
Shares of Quilter jumped by a record 15% to touch an all-time high in Tuesday afternoon trading. They were up 6.6% at 4:10 p.m. in London, giving the company a market value of about 3.2 billion pounds ($4.1 billion).
Quilter was spun off from South African insurer Old Mutual Ltd. and listed on the London bourse in 2018. Any purchase of Quilter would add to a flurry of take-private deals in the U.K., which could accelerate now after Boris Johnson’s election brought more certainty to the planned separation from the European Union.
Warburg Pincus has one of the biggest portfolios of financial-services investments among global private equity firms, with stakes in companies including Chinese tech tycoon Jack Ma’s Ant Financial and Swiss banking-software developer Avaloq Group AG.
Wealth management is one of the few corners of the finance world that’s been growing, buoyed by the rising net worth of the world’s rich. No final decisions have been made, and there’s no certainty the deliberations will lead to a transaction, the people said.
Representatives for Warburg Pincus and Quilter declined to comment.
Last month, Quilter completed the sale of a U.K. life-insurance business to Reassure Group Plc for 425 million pounds. Excluding that business, Quilter’s assets under management and administration rose 11% last year to 109.8 billion pounds.
(Updates with share movement in third paragraph)
–With assistance from Sarah Syed.
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