Former steel manufacturer Firth Holdings is poised to transform into a technology reseller geared towards providing systems for City dealing rooms.
The company is currently in talks concerning a reverse takeover of Kinetech, the ebusiness subsidiary of money broker Prebon Yamane Group.
Kinetech is the owner and operator of Prebon's proprietary e-trading platform, IT operations, resources and financial data business, but will become part of Firth if talks are successful. It will then change its name to Kinetech Plc.
The reinvention of Firth as a cash shell is proceeding as planned with the liquidation of Spartan Redheugh, its former steel subsidiary. Prebon has about 1500 brokers transacting more than $56tn (£38tn) worth of deals from its 30 financial centres around the world.
Sir Alan Thomas, chairman at Firth, said the relationship would help move clients from the old voice-based brokerage system to electronic trading.
"This is an opportunity to develop an open business-to-business electronic trading platform for rapidly growing niche financial markets," he said.
But the deal is far from sealed. "We hope to make an announcement in the near future, but at present we still have a lot of hurdles to get over. It is a very complicated process," said Thomas.
The takeover is subject to the demerger of Kinetech from Prebon and subsequent shareholder approval.
Firth made pre-tax profits of £5.1m in the financial year ended 31 March, compared with a loss of £10.8m in the previous year.
First published in Computer Reseller News
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