South African financial services group Old Mutual is reportedly in advanced negotiations to acquire Quilter Cheviot, among Britain's biggest independent wealth managers, for about £650m.
London-listed Old Mutual's bid is about £50m more than what it offered for Quilter when it made its first approach earlier in the year, Sky News reported.
There was no certainty a deal will be struck, the report said, noting that Quilter Cheviot's private equity owner, Bridgepoint, was still pursuing a stock-market float of the British wealth manager.
Rothschild is advising Old Mutual while investment bank Evercore Partners is advising Bridgepoint.
Firms like Johannesburg and London-traded private bank Investec have considered a buyout of Quilter but it is unclear if any formal offers have been tabled.
Both Old Mutual and Quilter refused to comment to Reuters.
Old Mutual's shares were trading 1.65% lower at 1343 BST in London, valuing the firm at $8.49bn (£5.29bn, €6.71bn). The stock has lost some 8.5% this year.
OM US Float
Old Mutual on 9 October cut the initial public offering (IPO) price of its US arm amid volatile trade in New York.
The group said in a statement that it sold shares in OM Asset Management at $14 apiece, which is lower than the initial range of between $15 and $17.
In September, Bridgepoint sold Finland's largest healthcare services firm Terveystalo to Swedish peer EQT. Bridgepoint acquired Terveystalo for €308m in 2009.
Quilter had more than 37,500 clients across the UK, Dublin and Jersey and managed assets worth £15.7bn as of 30 June, 2014, according to its website.