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Private equity firm Doughty Hanson is to acquire Equity Trust, a provider business administration and fiduciary services, for a total consideration of EUR350m from Candover and other institutional shareholders.

The existing senior management team will invest alongside Doughty Hanson.

Equity Trust provides administrative services to organisations worldwide, including secretarial and legal administration services; structured finance solutions; fund administration; complex private client administration; and book keeping and accounting.

The business employs more than 1,200 people in more than 40 offices around the world, and services more than 14,000 client entities.

Mark Corbidge, co‐head of private equity at Doughty Hanson, says: “The rapid pace of globalisation, combined with growing and increasingly complex regulation, is driving an outsourcing trend amongst organisations that are keen to focus on their core competencies and increasing their transparency and corporate governance. Equity Trust is well‐placed to take advantage of these trends and to benefit from further sustained growth in demand for its services.”

Subsequent to closure of the transaction, which is expected by the end of the year, and subject to regulatory approvals, Doughty Hanson intends to merge Equity Trust with its existing portfolio business TMF Group, a provider of business administration outsourcing. Doughty Hanson acquired TMF Group for a consideration of EUR750m in July 2008.

Frederik van Tuyll (pictured), chief executive officer at Equity Trust, adds: “Today’s announcement heralds a new and exciting chapter in the history of Equity Trust and, together with Doughty Hanson and TMF Group, we are looking forward to delivering on ambitious growth plans. A combination with TMF Group would be a logical strategic step that both companies have explored for some time, not least because of the similarities in history, culture and services. We believe that a merger of two companies with administrative excellence and outstanding customer service as their core competencies would create significant opportunities for our global client base and the employees of both firms.”

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