Close Brothers has spoken to US private equity firm Blackstone about the latter possibly making a bid for the group.
In November Close rejected a tentative £1.1bn (US$2.2bn) offer from AIM-listed stockbroker Cenkos, valuing the company at 950p a share.
Cenkos had teamed up with Icelandic bank Landsbanki. The duo would split Close Brothers’ various businesses between them.
Blackstone has an advisory unit, in which former Close Brothers chief executive Martin Gudgeon works. The business is led by John Studzinski, formerly of HSBC.
It is understood that Blackstone might join with Collins Stewart to make a rival offer above 1000p. The latter is keen on acquiring Close’s market maker Winterflood.
There have been signs that Close Brothers might consider a possibly sale of the business. Several of the company’s investment trust team have left to join Numis.
This morning Close’s shares rose 1p to 966p.