Earle acquires Lynton Edwards

BUSINESSMAN Nigel Earle has acquired one of the country’s leading brokerage firms, Lynton Edwards Securities (LES) through his investment firm Invesci Holdings for nearly US$700 000, sources familiar with the deal have said.

Bernard Mpofu

Earle has interests in the financial sector, industrial, civil engineering, petroleum industries, mining and hospitality.

The takeover of Lynton Edwards, a member of the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange, comes at a time most securities dealing firms are under pressure owing to low trades and a capital gains tax that has made transactions on the local bourse one of the most expensive in Africa. LES is an owner managed stock broking firm which was formed by Murray Lynton- Edwards in 2004 and is currently one of the top performers in the industry.

“Murray sold part of his shareholding to Invesci Holdings and still remains on the board as is directly involved in the business,” said one of the sources who declined to be named for professional reasons.

“The name Lynton-Edwards will not change but Lynton-Edwards Securities will become a subsidiary of Invesci Holdings.

Staff complement will remain as is and nothing will change operationally.”

The sources said the brokerage firm was currently awaiting regulatory approval to finalise the deal. The deal which comes nearly four years after a unit of frontier markets business giant, Renaissance Capital (RenCap) aborted its takeover bid of the brokerage firm over the country’s indigenisation policy, will diversify Invesci Holdings business scope, which currently operates an asset management firm. RenCap is a leading independent investment bank operating in Russia, the Commonwealth of Independent States, Central and Eastern Europe, Africa, Asia and other high-opportunity emerging and frontier markets. The firm is an established and trusted advisor to governments, corporate and institutional clients in its core investment banking offerings such as mergers and acquisitions, equity, debt, structured solutions and derivatives.

The volte-face by RenCap came barely two months after the Competition and Tariff Commission (CTC) had announced that it would undertake investigations into the transaction amid concerns of a monopoly situation arising from a proposed acquisition of a 75% stake in LES by RenCap.