ICA launched the acquisition attempt last week by setting up a new holding company in which Atlanta-based Manheim will purchase a substantial stake once the merger process is complete. The enlarged company will encompass ICA's existing auction centres in Bristol and Rotherham plus CMA's six outlets and refurbishment centre - all of which will trade under the CMA brand.
With a combined turnover of around £15 million, the merger will put the unified company at number two in the auction market behind ADT - which coincidentally owns a 9.9% stake in CMA. Directors and other major shareholders with a combined stake of 52.4% of CMA's shares have endorsed the merger, but the deal needs the backing of 75% of shareholders.
Provided the acquisition - which values CMA at £11.9 million - goes ahead, the UK's only publicly quoted auction company will again become a privately-owned business. CMA's non-executive directors will stand down, but the senior management team will be integrated within the enlarged company and few other redundancies are anticipated.