The planned acquisition of stockbroking firm Goodbody by a consortium of Chinese investors led by the Zhongze Group will not proceed.

The proposed deal, which was announced last summer, was understood to be worth around €150 million.

In a statement this evening, Goodbody and its majority shareholder Fexco said they "have jointly taken the decision not to proceed with the proposed acquisition of Goodbody by a consortium of Chinese strategic investors".

They added "both companies have concluded that the rationale for the original transaction is no longer applicable due to a proposed change in the make-up of the shareholder structure made by the acquiring group".

Goodbody and Fexco also said the stockbroking firm’s balance sheet was strengthened following the sale of the company’s stake in the Irish Stock Exchange last year and that the company "retains significant financial capacity to drive its strategy forward". 

Last November the deal reportedly stalled because the Central Bank was awaiting necessary information from investors in order to grant regulatory approval.

Goodbody is Ireland's oldest stockbroking firm, tracing its origins back to the 1870s.

It was acquired by AIB in 1990, which managed the business through to the 2008 financial crisis.

In 2010 Goodbody was sold to Kerry-based financial services firm Fexco for €24 million.

Since then Fexco's stake in the firm has fallen, as staff and management increased their shareholding.

Fexco now holds 51% of Goodbody, with staff and management holding the remaining 49%.