Cazenove last night refused to rule out scrapping ambitious plans to list on the London Stock Exchange in favour of floating on the AIM market.
The latest twist in the up-market and highly private investment bank’s tortuous road to market comes amid heightened speculation that a number of the firm’s senior partners want Cazenove to abandon its flotation plans and instead sell out to one of the giant US investment banks.
In a series of press statements over the last year or so, Cazenove has consistently said it planned to list on the London Stock Exchange.
However, the prospect of Cazenove, which is stockbroker to the Queen among others, being traded on what is the City’s secondary market is unlikely to fill its many blue-chip clients with much enthusiasm.
It is understood that those at the firm still keen on a flotation are considering trading on AIM as a prelude to listing on the LSE within a year or two of the initial float.
But a number of City insiders said the much-touted flotation now looks increasingly unlikely.
Cazenove was valued at just over ё1 billion last year, after raising ё100 million with the sale of 9.2 per cent of its shares, but it will be worth less in the current market.
The firm, founded by the descendents of Huguenot financiers who settled in the square mile after leaving France in the late seventeenth century, is the last major independent partnership in the City’s securities industry and has guarded its reputation ferociously.
In April 2001, Cazenove incorporated and announced its intention to seek a listing on the London Stock Exchange within two years ©