- Bid talks sent shares in his electronic trading company to a record high
- Spencer is talking to Chicago-based CME Group over the possible sale of Nex
- Shares in Nex jumped 30 per cent, or 203.5p, to a record high of 874p
Windfall: City tycoon Michael Spencer with his partner, Sarah Mountbatten
City tycoon Michael Spencer was £136million richer last night after takeover talks sent shares in his electronic trading company to a record high.
The 62-year-old, a former Tory Party treasurer, has entered discussions with the bosses of Chicago-based CME Group over the possible sale of Nex, the firm he set up more than 30 years ago.
The talks could spark a bidding war for the trading company – with others thought to be interested including the London Stock Exchange, Deutsche Boerse and New York Stock Exchange owner Intercontinental Exchange.
Shares in Nex, which changed its name from Icap in 2016, jumped 30 per cent, or 203.5p, to a record high of 874p at the close yesterday – pushing the value of the company up to £3.3billion.
Spencer’s near-18per cent stake is valued at £585million.
The City veteran is known for his wine cellar, 20th century art collection, legendary parties as well as his contacts across business, politics and beyond.
He once turned exclusive Mayfair hotel Claridge’s into a Chicago speakeasy, and for his 60th birthday he flew 150 friends to £1,000-a-night hotels in the Moroccan city of Marrakech.
The divorced father-of-three also launched a charity appeal which sees celebrities become traders for a day, raising nearly £140million for good causes over 25 years.
Spencer – who is in a relationship with Sarah Mountbatten, ex-wife of the Marquess of Milford Haven – was Tory treasurer from 2006 until 2010, when he resigned after criticism for selling £45million of shares weeks before the business issued a profit warning.
Shares in Nex, which changed its name from Icap in 2016, jumped 30 per cent, or 203.5p, to a record high of 874p at the close yesterday – pushing the value of the company up to £3.3billion
A Tory donor, he was reportedly in line for a peerage last year but this was blocked following Icap’s £55million fine for its involvement in the Libor interest rate scandal. Spencer was not implicated in the affair.
He sold Icap’s voice broking business to rival Tullett Prebon in 2016 and has since sold his share of that business for £200million.
Icap’s electronic trading business was split into Nex, where Spencer is still boss.