Former Barclays boss Bob Diamond has made his City comeback with a bid for Panmure Gordon.
According to the London Stock Exchange Diamond's (pictured) private equity vehicle, Atlas Merchant Capital, has joined forces with Qatari investment bank QInvest to launch a £15.5 million bid for one of the UK's oldest stockbrokers.
The 100p per share bid represents a 68.1% premium to Panmure's closing price of 59.5p last night.
The independent Panmure Gordon directors have unanimously recommended shareholders vote in favour of the deal.
Panmure chair Andrew Adcock told the market: '[The offer] will be attractive in providing Panmure Gordon shareholders with an opportunity to exit at a significant premium to the current share price.
'Against the backdrop of a challenging macro-economic environment, with the resultant market volatility which has in recent years impacted Panmure Gordon's business, the Independent Panmure Gordon directors believe that the scheme price reflects a fair and reasonable offer.'
The deal will result in Panmure, which was established in 1876, delisting from the London Stock Exchange.
Atlas, which was founded by Diamond in 2013, believes by taking Panmure private it can realise its potential.
Atlas head of UK and Europe Matthew Hansen said: 'We believe there is significant opportunity for Atlas, in partnership with QInvest, to apply our operational skills and financial services expertise to enhance Panmure Gordon's strong reputation and build a larger, successful boutique investment bank.
'This long term stabilisation and development can only realistically be achieved as a private company, out of the glare of the public market and the effects of share price movement.'
The news marks a stunning comeback for Diamond five years after he left Barclays shortly after the bank was fined £300 million after being found to be manipulating interest rates in the global Libor-rigging scandal.
His partnership with Qatar could also raise a few eyebrows given the Serious Fraud Office is embroiled in a probe into Barclays' fund raising from Qatari investors during the height of the credit crisis in 2008.
QInvest intends to maintain its stake in Panmure following the deal.
Commenting on the acquisition, QInvest chief executive Tamim Al-Kawari said: 'We have been major investors in Panmure Gordon for more than seven years and are excited about this opportunity to work with Atlas to develop the business, alongside its management team and employees, and to assist it in fulfilling its potential.'