Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Argenta Discovery looking at float or sale.

Argenta Discovery, the Essex, UK-based drug-development business, is considering a sale or flotation. Although chief executive Chris Ashton said the privately-owned company was not for sale, he confirmed bankers had been hired to consider options. The business is focused on respiratory drugs which have drawn the interest of giants such as AstraZeneca and GlaxoSmithKline. Argenta investors include MVM, ABN Amro and 3i; the company earned �8.5m in revenues from carrying out research for other parties.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Gartmore having strategic review

Gartmore, the UK fund manager, may soon be up for sale. Owner Nationwide has hired Morgan Stanley to look into strategic possibilities which may include a sale or flotation. US insurance business Nationwide acquired Gartmore for almost �1bn five years ago from Royal Bank of Scotland and, according to analysts could be worth that if sold to a rival or floated. BNP Paribas of France is rumoured to be a potential suitor. Gartmore could prove attractive to asset managers and banks outside the UK, particularly for its hedge-fund and distribution capabilities.