Religare makes open offer for UK brokerage firm

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New Delhi, Apr 9 (UNI) Religare Capital Markets Ltd (RCML), a wholly owned subsidiary of Religare Enterprises Ltd (REL), said it has made an open offer to London's oldest brokerage firm Hichens Harrison and Co.

''We are very excited that the Board of Hichens has accepted the cash offer and we are looking forward towards binding our strengths and exploring opportunities. We see a strong fit between the two companies both culturally and strategically,'' REL Group CEO and MD Sunil Godhwani said yesterday.

The offer is at Rs 226.05 per share cash and values Hichens Harrison at about Rs 440 crore, assuming the exercise of all outstanding Hichens options, representing a multiple of 13.1 times Hichens basic earnings per share for the 12 months ended December 31, 2007.

The Boards of RCML) and Hichens Harrison have agreed on the terms of the recommended cash offer for the whole of the issued and to be issued share capital of Hichens Harrison.

Following the approval of the Reserve Bank of, RCML intends to make the Offer through a newly incorporated wholly-owned subsidiary based out of Mauritius. An RBI no objection has already been obtained for the same on April 4 this year.

The acquisition of Hichens will provide Religare with the opportunity of creating a global distribution and execution platform within emerging countries and surely help the Group to emerge as a global player in the financial services market, Mr Godhwani said.

UNI MP SR BJR VP0735

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