In yet another acquisition in UK by Indian firm, Religare Capital Markets Ltd (RCML) acquired UK operations of Barnard Jacobs Mellet, an investment bank headquartered in South Africa. The acquisition not only symbolizes the appetite of Indian companies to go global but also shows their ability to adapt to global culture.
Barnard Jacobs Mellet (BJM) is a distribution platform for South African equities in the UK, serving over 100 institutional clients. Barnard Jacobs Mellet Holdings Limited (BJM) is a South African-based investment holding company for the stock broking and asset management activities of its subsidiaries. It has three main business segments: Retail stock broking, corporate finance and settlements and prime broking services. The subsidiaries of the Company include Barnard Jacobs Mellet Corporate Finance (Pty) Ltd and Barnard Jacobs Mellet UK Ltd. The company is listed on the JSE in the "financial services" sector in South Africa and carries the abbreviation "BJM". The company's origins go back to 1985 and in a relatively short time, the firm has grown to be recognized as the leading independent securities house in South Africa. This has enabled the group to expand its services to international clients in centers such as New York and London. The London office is "authorized and regulated by the Financial Services Authority".
The acquirer Religare Capital Markets Limited (RCML) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Religare Enterprises Limited (REL), a global financial services group. RCML comprises Religare Capital Markets plc (which is authorized and regulated by the Financial Service Authority and is a Member of the London Stock Exchange and the NASDAQ Dubai and acts as a broker for companies traded on the main and AIM UK Markets, and a PLUS Markets Corporate Adviser) and RCM (UK) Limited which is authorized and regulated by the Financial Services Authority and is able to act as Sponsor to companies on the Official List of the UK Listing Authority and as Nominated Adviser to AIM Companies. Currently, the principal areas of activity for RCML globally are Institutional broking and research, Equity Capital Market and M&A. In UK, the firm also offers broking services to UK Mid caps, contracts for difference and operates a London listings and broking business. RCML is continually adding to its suite of products and strengthening its team.
As part of its ambitious growth strategy, RCML had recently announced plans to acquire the Hong- Kong-based research platform Central Joint Enterprises (Aviate Global - Asia). It has also acquired a 50% stake in a Sri Lankan stock broking firm Bartleet Mallory Stock Brokers in September 2010.
South Africa is one of the markets RCML has identified as of key strategic importance and it will complement the acquisition with the build-out of a local presence to complete the offering, a RCML statement said.
The business will now operate under the Religare brand and Religare Enterprises plans to rapidly integrate BJM's business into RCML's expanding emerging markets platform. Its addition gives RCML a team of eight professionals who provide market-leading distribution and execution of South African equities. RCML has added research analysts to the BJM team to cover banks, telecom and media and plans further hiring in the near future. The deal is valued at about $50 million. Also, the acquisition is only for the equity side of the business.
The acquisition of BJM-UK gives Religare group access to the distribution platform for South African equities in the UK. With the Indian companies on spree for global acquisition and India commanding a comfortable Forex reserve, many more such deals are likely to be on the table in the future. The trend is clear. The Indian companies are looking all around the world for organic growth and it clearly reverses the trend witnessed in the past of acquisition of Indian companies by Companies from developed world. Is this the beginning of a new era dominated by Indian MNCs in the global corporate world?
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