Bullion dealers with 375-year history merge

German bullion retailer Degussa Goldhandel on Thursday announced the acquisition of London-based broker Sharps Pixley citing continued confidence in the retail market for gold bars and coins.

"The second quarter was exceptionally strong, but the third quarter was only slightly below that – our turnover remains on average around 100 million euros per month," Degussa CEO Wolfgang Wrzesniok-Rossbach told Reuters.

Degussa, which traces its precious metals trading history back to 1873, was recently bought by Germany's Von Finck family.

Degussa has nine offices in Germany and one in Switzerland and is on target top €1 billion in sales this year.

London-based Sharps Pixley was founded in 1778, and the bullion dealer was one of the original members of the London Gold Fix.

Sharps Pixley owner Ross Norman, who is an ex-trader for NM Rothschild and Credit Suisse, is a frequent commentator on the global gold market.

Norman made the case in April that the dramatic $200 an ounce drop in the gold price over two sessions was sparked by a short seller's 'shock & awe' 400 tonne trade.

Last month a Sharps Pixley study detailed how attempts by the government of India, the world's number one consumer of the yellow metal, to curb the nation's appetite for gold backfired.