Jersey’s Zenith Trust Company is to become part of cross-border financial services provider STM Group. London Stock Exchange-listed STM, whose main business is in Gibraltar, will pay a minimum of GBP5.1m for the Jersey firm.
Zenith, which had been operating as a stand-alone business in Jersey since 1999, has a client base of 263 corporate entities and 116 trusts, nominees and foundations. The companies under management are mainly involved in holding real estate, leasing, receiving royalties, consultancy and general investment activities.
According to STM chief executive Colin Porter (pictured), the expanded Jersey operation will become a “second engine room” to complement the company’s main business in Gibraltar. “It will benefit from Zenith’s portfolio of quality clients and intermediaries,” he says.
“Zenith are plugged in and they have a very strong management team. We made an entry with a physical presence into Jersey in July 2008 and we’ve been looking for the right acquisition for over 12 months. Zenith ticked all the boxes.”
The combined revenue base for STM in Jersey office will now be around GBP3.5m. The group’s chief financial officer, Alan Kentish notes that STM, as a small listed company, is proud to have been able to fund part of the acquisition cost through the issuance of a convertible bond.
“This demonstrates the support of our existing shareholders and their belief in our ‘buy and build’ strategy,” Kentish says. “The acquisition of Zenith gives STM a more balanced group presence across various jurisdictions.”
All staff at Zenith as well as STM’s existing Jersey office are due to keep their jobs as the two firms are integrated. Says Porter: “It should not be too complicated – it’s a case of one company sliding into another.
“In this difficult economic climate it is no small task to raise GBP 2.2m to secure the initial funding for the acquisition, and I’m pleased that our shareholders and others can see the benefit of scale and economies that Zenith brings to the group.”