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Amvescap boost from Perpetual motion

For a horse-racing enthusiast like Martyn Arbib, the sale of Perpetual, his pride and joy, will prompt mixed feelings.

The thoroughbred fund management house, of which he is chairman and founder, has fetched him some £450 million thanks to a £1.1 billion bid by US group Amvescap.

However, Arbib may stop to wonder what sort of price Perpetual might have commanded had he managed to sell it when it was at the top of its game two years ago.

The sale has valued Perpetual shares at £35.80 but sceptics say Arbib was looking for more in the region of £45.

Speculation has surrounded Perpetual, and its possible sale, since even further back than that. In the rapidly consolidating fund management world which has seen a spate of takeovers in the past three years, Perpetual, quirkily set outside London's Financial centre in leafy, riparian Henley-on-Thames, was always a plum target.

Now it follows Mercury, Newton and Gartmore into the hands of more powerful US groups.

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