Inflexion, the buyout firm, is preparing a takeover bid for 7IM as part of a formal auction of the asset management boutique.
Sky News has learnt that Inflexion, which has backed businesses such as Goals Soccer Centres and Mountain Warehouse, is among the suitors examining offers for 7IM.
Insiders said on Thursday that a sale process run by bankers at Evercore was expected to get underway as early as next month.
London-listed Caledonia Investments has owned 7IM since 2015, and has been drawing up plans for an auction for the past year.
Sky News revealed in February 2022 that Brooks Macdonald, the London-listed asset manager, had approached 7IM’s controlling shareholder, Caledonia Investments, several months earlier about a takeover.
Brooks Macdonald is said to have retained an interest subsequently, although it was unclear whether it would play a role in the forthcoming auction.
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Other fund managers, as well as private equity investors, are expected to be among the other parties which will explore a deal.
7IM was acquired by Caledonia in a deal worth about £100m.
Since then, 7IM has bought other firms including Tcam Asset Management and Partners Wealth Management.
Inflexion and Caledonia declined to comment.