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Report: Bank of China leading race to purchase Irish stockbroker

Bank of China Ltd. is leading the race to potentially acquire Ireland-based Goodbody Stockbrokers, with rival Davy Corp. Finance and Irish Life Group Ltd. also in the running, sources told The Irish Times.

Goodbody's majority owner, Irish financial services firm Fexco Holdings Ltd., was reported in May to be in initial talks with several interested parties regarding a full or partial sale of the stockbroker. Fexco was understood to prefer Davy but a tie-up with the company was expected to result in substantial staff reductions, according to the report.

In 2018, Fexco reportedly agreed to sell Goodbody to a Chinese consortium led by investment holding company Zhongze Group for about €150 million but the deal fell through after the consortium's makeup changed following the agreement, the report added.

Fexco owns a 51% stake in Goodbody, while the remaining 49% is held by the firm's management and staff.