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Canaccord Genuity hires advisers to explore sale

[TORONTO] Canaccord Genuity Group, Canada's largest non-bank brokerage, is exploring strategic options, including a sale of all or part of its business, according to people familiar with the matter.

The Toronto-based firm, working with advisers after appointing activist investor Eric Rosenfeld to its board this month, believes its shares are undervalued, said the people, who asked to not be identified because the matter isn't public.

The company believes its UK wealth business alone could be worth roughly C$1 billion (S$1.03 billion), one of the people said.

No final decision has been made and Canaccord Genuity could opt against a full or partial sale, the people said.

Canaccord Genuity rose 6.5 per cent to C$7.91 at 2.54pm in Toronto, giving the company a market value of C$853 million.

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"The company regularly explores opportunities to strengthen the value of its business," Canaccord Genuity said in a statement.

Established in 1950, Canaccord Genuity's operations include investment banking in Canada, the US and Europe and wealth-management operations in Canada and the UK. The company reported record quarterly revenue on Thursday despite the volatility in the economy.

Canaccord Genuity announced plans last month to appoint Mr Rosenfeld to the board. He is the founder and chief executive officer of Crescendo Partners, a New York-based firm that has prompted changes at companies including beverage maker Cott Corp and Canadian construction firm Aecon Group.

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