The merger between Tilney and Smith & Williamson has been postponed as a result of the Covid-19 crisis and ongoing talks with the Financial Conduct Authority about the deal’s revised structure.

The consolidation, under the revised structure, is anticipated to close in the second half of this year.

Originally, the merger was expected to be finalised on 16 April 2020.

The new deal structure awaits regulatory, antitrust and shareholder clearance.

The companies expect to reach an agreement by the end of this May.

Smith & Williamson shareholder AGF Management said: “The Boards of Tilney and Smith & Williamson remain committed to the transaction and have agreed to extend the original expiry date for the merger between their respective businesses (which was 16 April 2020) for a further interim period to enable the parties to seek to agree to the revised transaction structure intended to meet final regulatory approvals.

“Significant progress has been made toward a revised transaction structure, including a material new equity investment and thus a significant reduction in the external debt levels of the post-completion combined group.”

However, AGF is still uncertain whether the deal will proceed.

The deal, valued at £625m, was announced in September last year.

The consolidated group is said to manage more than £45bn in assets and adopt the name Tilney Smith & Williamson.

The latest merger agreement follows an earlier failed attempt of Tilney in consolidating with Smith & Williamson.

Instead,  Smith & Williamson started merger talks with Rathbones. However, that attempt failed as Rathbones felt that it was unable to reach terms that are in the best interests of its shareholders.