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Buyout firms weigh bids for £2bn finance group Together

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The founder of one of Britain’s biggest privately held consumer finance groups is in talks about the sale of a minority stake that would yield a windfall worth hundreds of millions of pounds.

Sky News has learnt that Together Financial Services, which specialises in areas such as mortgage lending and auction finance, has asked private equity firms to submit indicative offers this month that are likely to value it at more than £1.5bn.

Sources said that Cinven was among the buyout groups expected to submit an offer, while Warburg Pincus is also understood to have expressed an interest.

Rothschild is advising Cheadle-based Together and its founder, Henry Moser, on the process.

Mr Moser, who established the company in 1974, is thought to value Together at between £1.7bn and £2bn, although it was unclear this weekend whether any of the bidders would meet his expectations.

He is thought to be open-minded about the size of the minority stake that would be sold, but a 49% shareholding even at the lower end of his valuation range would be worth more than £800m to him and Together’s other shareholders.

Last year’s Sunday Times Rich List estimated the wealth of Mr Moser and his family at £1.1bn.

In 2006, he sold a minority stake in the company to Equistone and Standard Life Investments for £113.5m, buying it back a decade later.

Together is one of a number of consumer finance groups exploring a sale, with volatile equity markets and Britain’s escalating cost of living crisis effectively ruling out flotations as an alternative option.

A spokesman for Together declined to comment, while Cinven also declined to comment.

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