Network HLP rumoured to be bought out

Ramesh Sharma

February 11, 2006

MI understands one of the names in the frame to buy HLP is London-based independent financial adviser and chartered accountancy firm Blevins Franks, although it is believed Blevins Franks may set up a separate entity to take HLP over.

The FSA register shows Worthing-based HLP currently has 53 appointed representative (AR) firms under its umbrella – which fits in with Blevins’ supposed strategy of wanting to build up a network rather than buying one of the bigger networks.

A source said: “Blevins is looking to buy a mortgage network that has around 100 ARs so it can grow and build the company, rather than spending more money on a bigger network that has 300 ARs.”

Mortgage 2000 currently has a controlling stake in HLP, which it acquired in April 2004.

Sean Hornsby, managing director of Mortgage 2000, said: “We still have a controlling stake in HLP and at this moment we’re not aware of anyone taking it over. To be honest, there’s a lot of rumours about lots of networks being taken over at the moment.”

Martin Cave , managing director of HLP, said: “Like all networks we continue to review our options to grow the business. Nothing has been signed or sealed. As and when we are likely to make an announcement about whether or not we are expanding our business partners, we’ll let everyone know. We are talking to a number of different partners about our strategic options going forward.”

Christopher Tanner, managing director of Blevins Franks, said: “We are on a number of network panels and we’ve been in talks with HLP about extending the services we already offer it, such as our European mortgage business.”

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