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Indian firm in takeover talks with Arden Partners

Birmingham stockbroker Arden Partners is staying in touch with the Indian financial services company with which it has been discussing a possible bid since the early summer.

The talks finally ended on Wednesday and Arden’s share price nearly halved to 43p on the news. It held steady at that level yesterday. Arden has strong contacts in India and has brought five Indian companies to the British stock market. The largest, Hardy Oil & Gas, is now in the FTSE 250 index.

Arden was approached by three Indian financial companies after negotiations with Cenkos Securities ended in May.

Jonathan Keeling, Arden’s chief executive, refused to name the one engaged in the most recent discussions, saying only that it had a very strong mid-market position.

“We will remain in contact,” he added. “The turbulent global markets made it impossible to complete the deal.”

Arden also reported that it will do no more than break even in the second half of its year to the end of October, due to a fall in its corporate finance income. It made a £1.2 million profit in the first six months and £5.5 million in its 2006/07 full year.

“The corporate finance business is very difficult at the moment,” Mr Keeling said. “We finally got to the scenario where we thought it was appropriate to advise the market that a number of our corporate transactions would fail.”

Source: Birmingham Post

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