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Update (2) – Given the fresh expressions of interest in the component parts of Plus Group by a variety of parties, there is increasing speculation that a break up bid is again being prepared by Gulf Merchant Bank. If this is the case they will certainly have to offer a premium to cash and a control premium and so a price north of 1p would be expected.  We will keep you updated.

Update (1) – The million dollar question is where do Amari Dhari & Rowan stand in all this? What chance either/or also throw their hats into the ring for the RIE side? What we find interesting is none of the big holders have unloaded any stock in recent days…

Plus looks like it is to be sold off to three separate buyers after the company confirmed yesterday it had begun talks over the stock exchange unit with Icap, the world’s largest inter-dealer broker, run by former Tory party treasurer Michael Spencer.

More deals could follow, however, after it received expressions of interest in its derivatives and trading solutions businesses.

Hirander Misra, an electronic trading expert and one of the founders of Chi-X Europe, has reportedly held talks to buy Plus-TS. Meanwhile Vijay Angelo, currently a consultant to Plus, and other backers are in talks to buy Plus-DX. A deal could be completed as soon as next week.

Angelo declined to comment and Misra could not be reached.

Plus said it is in talks with Icap about a sale of the stock exchange “for a nominal amount”. The talks are seen as a move by Icap to pay a cut price for Plus’ exchange licence, an attractive asset at a time when global regulators are looking to force more of Icap’s core over-the-counter derivatives markets to use exchanges.

“The primary interest for Icap probably isn’t Plus’s existing businesses, but the opportunity to pick up an exchange license on the cheap,” said Richard Perrott at Berenberg Bank.

Plus said on Monday it was planning to close after failing to secure a buyer, but the deal offers a lifeline to Plus’ 156 listed companies that were facing the prospect of going private or seeking other exchanges

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