EDINBURGH-based financial technology business Nucleus has been sold for the second time in a year amid booming interest in the investment platform market that it focuses on.

Nucleus has been sold to a US investment giant just seven months after it was acquired for £145m by a rival backed by the Epiris private equity business.

Details of the transaction were not disclosed. However, it follows reports that a deal that would value the Nucleus group at £700m was under discussion.

Nucleus said it was pleased to welcome HPS Investment Partners as a new majority shareholder alongside Epiris, which is retaining a significant minority stake.

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Epiris said Nucleus had secured major equity investment from HPS to support the next stage of its growth.

Nucleus chief executive Richard Rowney said the deal provided a vote of confidence in the business and the growth strategy developed with Epiris.

HeraldScotland: Nucleus chief executive Richard RowneyNucleus chief executive Richard Rowney

Mr Rowney took charge of Nucleus after it was acquired in August by the James Hay business he ran, amid concern about the implications of the takeover for jobs.

Founding chief executive David Ferguson decided to leave Nucleus following completion of the takeover to pursue other opportunities.

James Hay beat off strong competition to acquire Nucleus, which became a leader in the fast-growing market for the provision of platforms under Mr Ferguson.

Platforms can be used by investors and their advisors to help manage their portfolios. Demand for them has boomed as people have been required to take increased responsibility for saving for retirement.

Epiris saw potential to accelerate growth by combining Nucleus with James Jay, which is based in Salisbury.

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The deal was opposed by a People Representative Group of Nucleus employees amid “significant anxiety” about the impact on jobs at the firm.

A spokesperson for Nucleus said yesterday: “There’s been some reshaping of the teams as integration took place but actually overall across the Scotland operation, headcount has increased by 23.” It is understood two posts were made redundant in Edinburgh.

The Nucleus group employs 410 people in Scotland and around 160 in Salisbury, where it is registered.

Nucleus said yesterday that since the creation of the enlarged group over £5m has been invested in service while £6m has been committed to platform development for 2022.

Mr Rowney said: “While today’s news will not result in any immediate practical change, it is certainly a vote of confidence, not just in our strategy, but also in our people.”

He added: “We’ll continue to share the benefits that come from economies of scale with our customers, investing in giving them better products, better service and better prices.”

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In January it was announced that Mr Ferguson will take charge of the Seccl financial technology business in April. The company, which is part of the Octopus energy and investment group, provides technology used by wealth managers.

Scottish finance giant abrdn underlined the appeal of the platform market in December when it announced a £1.5bn deal to acquire the Interactive Investor business.

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London-based Epiris bought James Hay in 2019.

HPS Investment Partners has around $80 billion (£60bn) assets under management. It developed out of the Highbridge Principal Strategies business formed by Highbridge Capital Management and JP Morgan Asset Management.