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Rees-Mogg Planned to Sell Firm Before Colleagues Objected: FT

Dominic Lau

(Bloomberg) -- U.K. Cabinet minister Jacob Rees-Mogg and his business partner held talks to sell Somerset Capital Management to a U.S. investment group during the summer before colleagues objected and negotiations ended, the Financial Times reported.

The sale, which would have valued the company at between 70 million pounds ($86 million) and 100 million pounds, was scrapped after some Somerset fund managers and partners including Edward Robertson, one of the co-founders, disapproved of the plan, it said, citing unidentified people briefed of the discussions. The report didn’t identify the U.S. group.

Rees-Mogg’s business partner, Dominic Johnson, denied claims that he wanted to sell Somerset to seek the Conservative Party chairmanship, according to the report. Rees-Mogg declined to comment, it said.

“We are very proud of the business we have built since launching in 2007,” according to an emailed statement from a spokesman for Somerset Capital. “We have received a number of offers in recent years and while we are not surprised that other asset managers are interested in our business, we are proudly a partnership and not for sale.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Dominic Lau in Hong Kong at dlau92@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Shamim Adam at sadam2@bloomberg.net, Stanley James

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