Tech tester Cal­nex to raise £22.5m through Aim list­ing

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Business - By Ben Woods

A TECH­NOL­OGY test­ing com­pany to cor­po­rate giants BT and Face­book is poised to raise £22.5m through a list­ing on Lon­don’s ju­nior mar­ket.

Cal­nex plans to float on Aim at the be­gin­ning of Oc­to­ber, with an over­sub­scribed plac­ing valu­ing the com­pany at £42m on ad­mis­sion.

The busi­ness, based in West Loth­ian, Scot­land, de­signs and man­u­fac­tures test­ing equip­ment for tele­coms com­pa­nies look­ing to check the per­for­mance of their net­works.

It hopes to take ad­van­tage of the roll­out of 5G, the next-gen­er­a­tion mo­bile net­work that is up to 20 times faster than 4G. Ex­ist­ing in­vestors – in­clud­ing staff and chief ex­ec­u­tive Tommy Cook – will re­ceive £16.5m through the raise, with £6m go­ing to the com­pany.

The cash in­jec­tion will help it pay down debt, in­vest in re­search and de­vel­op­ment, and pur­sue takeover op­por­tu­ni­ties.

Mr Cook, who founded the com­pany 14 years ago, said the tele­coms in­dus­try was go­ing through “un­prece­dented lev­els of change”, which pre­sented op­por­tu­ni­ties to ex­pand the busi­ness. He added: “Hav­ing demon­strated sus­tained growth since in­cep­tion, the move on to the pub­lic mar­kets will pro­vide us with new cap­i­tal, a raised pro­file and en­hanced abil­ity to ex­e­cute on ac­qui­si­tions, as we seek to cap­ture an in­creased share of the grow­ing mar­ket for tele­coms test so­lu­tions.”

Cal­nex lifted pre-tax prof­its by a fifth to £3m for the year to March 2020, with turnover also climb­ing 30pc to £13.7m.

Around 80pc of its rev­enues come from re­peat cus­tomers. Along­side Amer­i­can tech­nol­ogy giants IBM and In­tel, the com­pany sup­plies China Mo­bile, Eric­s­son and Nokia.

On ad­mis­sion, the busi­ness will have 87.5m or­di­nary shares in is­sue, with a free float of around 43pc. Mr Cook will re­main the largest share­holder with a 21pc slice of the busi­ness, while in­sti­tu­tional in­vestors and the Busi­ness Growth Fund will join as new share­hold­ers. The list­ing will fol­low a bumper Septem­ber for flota­tions.

On­line re­tailer The Hut Group se­cured the UK’s big­gest list­ing in three years on Wed­nes­day when it raised £1.9bn through a flota­tion in Lon­don.

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