LONDON, Aug 19 (Reuters) - British wealth manager Rathbone Brothers is in advanced talks with UK-based financial services provider Smith and Williamson about a 2 billion pound ($2.6 billion) merger, Sky News reported on Saturday.
Sky, citing unnamed sources, said Rathbone was close to agreeing the terms of a deal to combine with Smith and Williamson in an all-share merger, with the agreement expected to be announced within weeks, although it could be delayed.
The deal, structured as a takeover by Rathbone, will attribute a valuation of close to 600 million pounds to Smith and Williamson and will hand shares in the combined group to its employees who own the majority of the company, Sky said.
Last month Rathbone posted a 16.7 percent rise in first-half pretax profit to 26.6 million pounds, boosted by market gains and a rise in assets under management.
$1 = 0.7769 pounds Reporting by Michael Holden; Editing by Toby Chopra