By Ian McConnell

GLASGOW-based private equity house Maven, led by Bill Nixon, is being sold for up to £100 million to wealth and asset management business Mattioli Woods, in a deal unveiled today.

The price comprises an initial consideration of £80m, comprising £50m in cash and £30m in shares.

A deferred consideration of up to £20m will be payable in cash contingent upon the future EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) performance of Maven in the first four years post-completion of the deal.

Maven has assets under management of about £772 million.

They stood at about £140m in summer 2009, when Mr Nixon formed Maven by leading a management buy-out of the private equity operations of Aberdeen Asset Management.

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Maven, which runs venture capital trusts, has as well as conitinuing to build its traditional private equity business diversified into student accommodation and hotel developments. 

It has built its staff numbers from 22 in 2009 to more than 100.

Mr Nixon said of the deal which sees Maven acquired by Mattioli Woods: "Today marks an important step in the continued evolution and growth of the Maven business. Since being established in 2009, Maven has grown year on year, developed innovative new products and income lines, and has become one of the UK’s most active and dynamic alternative asset managers, supporting more than 400 companies over that period.

"Over the past 12 years we have grown from 22 people to a headcount of almost 100 colleagues, and now have a presence in key cities across the UK, with a team which is recognised as having a collaborative and can-do culture, in supporting the growth of a wide range of private companies, alongside a small number of carefully selected property development projects."

He added: "Our people have been critical to the success Maven has achieved from a standing start over the past 12 years, helping turn our strategy and vision into business reality. We are immensely proud of our progress to date and finding the right partner who shares our ambition and who will help us grow the business further has been a key objective for myself and my fellow Maven partners.

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"Culturally this acquisition represents an excellent fit. We have known the senior executive team at Mattioli Woods for many years.  Both businesses have admired the respective progress achieved by the other over the past decade, and this coming together represents the logical next step in the creation of a market leading specialist wealth management, investment and advisory business. It’s very much business as usual for Maven, but this exciting new partnership with Mattioli Woods offers a wide range of benefits, including access to further capital to help us develop additional new products, and to increase our support for the SME (small and medium-sized enterprise) sector across the UK."

Maven said the acquisition had "obtained regulatory approval and formal completion is expected to happen within weeks".

Mattioli Woods has also today announced the acquisition of Ludlow Wealth Management, a financial planning business in north-west England, for up to £43.5m.

Ian Mattiolio, chief executive of Mattiolio Woods, said: "The acquisitions of Maven and Ludlow Wealth Management represent meaningful progress towards our ambitious medium-term goals.  We have a strong track record of combining like-minded businesses that share the same culture and ethos of putting clients first.  The teams at Maven and Ludlow Wealth Management share our passion for delivering exceptional client outcomes and going the extra mile.  

"Throughout our discussions with Bill Nixon at Maven and Ian Hemingway at Ludlow Wealth Management, it has been apparent that we share a desire to continue growing the enlarged Group, further enhancing our client proposition and delivering sustainable shareholder returns."

He added: "These transactions represent a complementary extension of the group's existing investment proposition and add to our distribution capacity, allowing us to continue developing our product offering, accelerate organic growth and realise both revenue and cost synergies."

Mattioli Woods has total assets under management, administration and advice in excess of £11 billion, employing more than 600 people at 11 locations across the UK.