Layton Blackham chief executive Chris Blackham has denied that the broker is to be acquired by Towergate Partnership.

Sources close to the broker had claimed Layton Blackham and Towergate were in discussions over a possible takeover deal.

But, despite admitting to recent meetings with executive chairman of Towergate Peter Cullum, Blackham told Insurance Times: "They [Towergate] will be lucky."

Blackham said the broker had plans to increase its £22m fee income by 50% within five years. "We are about to embark on our next quantum leap," he said. "Layton Blackham is back on the acquisition trail."

In June Layton Blackham acquired Milton Keynes-based broker Anchor. Blackham said the acquisition marked the start of the second phase of the company's growth plans.

"We are looking for medium-sized commercial brokers with an income of between £500,000 and £4m, but are not ruling anything out," he said.

"We are in a very strong position. We have no bank debt, no venture debt and a very strong cash flow."

He added: "We are pushing the business forward."