Shares of Stifel Financial Corp.SF gained over 2% following the news that the company is in talks to acquire the securities division of U.K. based investment firm Charles Stanley Group. Sky News and the Financial Times reported the news on Tuesday.
The division is engaged in corporate finance, equity research and trading. Per a statement of Charles Stanley "The company confirms that it has entered into exclusive negotiations in relation to a possible disposal of elements of the division. At this stage no assurance can be given that a disposal will proceed."
While nothing was revealed in details about the potential buyer, people familiar with the matter stated that St. Louis-based Stifel Financial is likely to be in advanced discussions with Charles Stanley for the possible deal.
The latest revelation of Stifel Financial seems to be in line with its expansion strategy in Europe. In May 2014, the brokerage firm acquired London-based Oriel Securities and has presently consolidated all of its London-based businesses under Stifel Nicolaus Europe Limited. Further in Feb 2013, Stifel Financial completed the merger with KBW, Inc. which operates in the U.S. and Europe.
On Charles Stanley's part, the possible offloading of the division will give some relief to the company as the division is facing challenges amid stricter regulatory scenario and stiff competition. Also, it will allow the company to focus more on its core private client investment management business.
Though nothing conclusive can be said about the actual materialization of the deal at this moment, it seems the deal could reward both Stifel Financial and Charles Stanley.
Stifel Financial currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Some better-ranked stocks in the finance space include OM Asset Management Limited OMAM , Cowen Group, Inc. COWN and Woori Bank Co., Ltd. WF . All three stocks sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).