Shares in Hargreaves Lansdown and AJ Bell Surge

Hargreaves Lansdown and AJ Bell have both seen their share prices jump this morning as investors welcomed a rejected takeover bid and a fresh dividend, respectively

Christopher Johnson 23 May, 2024 | 11:14AM
Facebook Twitter LinkedIn


Shares in Hargreaves Lansdown (HL) and AJ Bell (AJB), two stalwarts of the UK's retail investor platform space, are both surging this morning.

HL saw its share price leap more than 15% after news broke that the FTSE 100-listed Bristol broker had rejected a takeover bid from a group of private equity firms, including CVC Capital Partners, and a partner group of Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth fund.  

Its valuation shot up from 924.80p on 22nd of May to 1,125p as of 08:30 this morning.  

However, shares have subsequently fallen and now sit at 1,059.84p. The share price increase over the last five days sits at 16.5%, with a year-to-date increase of 31.02%, according to Morningstar Pitchbook data.  

On Wednesday evening, HL released a statement stating its board had "unanimously rejected" a takeover proposal of 985p per share from the private equity group, on the grounds it undervalued the business significantly.

The bid continues the trend of private equity interest in not only UK wealth management but the wider UK stock market, which is due to companies across the board trading at relative discounts to their global peers.  

HL has also faced challenges in recent years. Last year it was booted out of the FTSE 100, although it subsequently returned to the blue-chip index on another share price jump. 

Manchester-based AJ Bell, meanwhile, has also enjoyed a 11.03% share price leap over the last five days to May 23 from 362p to 403.50p. Its revenue is up 27% year-on-year. 

Revenues at the business, which started life as a pensions firm, hit a whopping £131.3 million in the first half of the financial year. Meanwhile, profits before tax leapt 47% to £61.4 million. Assets under administration were bolstered 13% to almost £86 billion due to heavy inflows. 

This all comes as the platform announced an increased retail customer base, with the number of policyholders surpassing half a million. AJ Bell's year-to-date share price change sits at a 14.07% increase.  

On the back of its positive results, the company has announced an interim dividend of 4.25p per share, up 21% from last year’s figure. 

"Our dual-channel platform continued to deliver strong organic growth with 27,000 customers added in the period and total platform customers surpassing half a million, a significant milestone for the business," chief executive Michael Summersgill said. 

"The board has recently approved a new capital allocation framework which reaffirms our commitment to a progressive annual ordinary dividend."

Subscribe to Our Newsletters

Sign up Now

The information contained within is for educational and informational purposes ONLY. It is not intended nor should it be considered an invitation or inducement to buy or sell a security or securities noted within nor should it be viewed as a communication intended to persuade or incite you to buy or sell security or securities noted within. Any commentary provided is the opinion of the author and should not be considered a personalised recommendation. The information contained within should not be a person's sole basis for making an investment decision. Please contact your financial professional before making an investment decision.

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn

About Author

Christopher Johnson  is data journalist at Morningstar

© Copyright 2024 Morningstar, Inc. All rights reserved.

Terms of Use        Privacy Policy        Modern Slavery Statement        Cookie Settings        Disclosures