James Hay looks to sell Nucleus stake

Goldman Sachs is the latest company said to be eyeing up a stake in Nucleus. Centerbridge Partners, GTCR and HPS are the other private equity investors that are interested in purchasing shares. The prospective sale comes after James Hay’s PE owner Epiris acquired Nucleus last year. 

The combined James Hay and Nucleus firm is valued at approximately £700 million. 

Epiris, which currently holds the majority stake of Nucleus and is the only private equity investor, may hand over a significant degree of control to one of the private equity giants. However, it is presently unclear how large a stake Epiris is willing to sell.

It has been reported by an FTAdviser source that any changes will only take place on the shareholder level, with business continuing as usual. 

Chairman of the Investor Network, Clive Waller, spoke about the potential deal: “It doesn’t inspire great faith that within 10 minutes of investing in Nucleus they’re looking to sell.”

He added that the deal did not seem to be about generating “true value”, but rather “it’s about ‘can we buy it and then flog it a couple of years down the line for a profit?’”

Despite Mr Waller’s comment, it is possible that Epiris are simply looking for co-investors, and are not intent on passing on their controlling stake. 

Epiris has so far declined to comment. 

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