AJ Bell plans to go ahead with flota­tion

Belfast Telegraph - Business Telegraph - - News - BY RAVENDER SEMBHY

IN­VEST­MENT plat­form AJ Bell is to press ahead with a stock mar­ket flota­tion that could value the firm at up to £500m.

The group said on Mon­day that it in­tends to pro­ceed with an ini­tial pub­lic of­fer­ing of at least 25% of the com­pany’s shares next month.

Mar­ket volatil­ity and Brexit fears have re­sulted in sev­eral dis­ap­point­ing Lon­don list­ings in re­cent months but, un­de­terred, AJ Bell said it be­lieves this to be an “ap­pro­pri­ate time to bring the group to the pub­lic mar­ket”.

At a £500m val­u­a­tion, founder Andy Bell’s 28% stake is worth £140m and he is set to trim his hold­ing to 25%.

In­vesco, which holds a 44% stake, is ex­pected to sell down to 25%.

AJ Bell’s 750 staff are also set to pocket £2m be­tween them fol­low­ing the list­ing.

The price range in re­spect of the of­fer and the max­i­mum num­ber of shares to be placed are still to be de­ter­mined, AJ Bell said.

Last year AJ Bell re­ported rev­enues of £89.7m, up 19%, and profit be­fore tax up 31% to £28.4m.

“Our in­ten­tion to float the busi­ness on the Lon­don Stock Ex­change re­flects both our his­toric achieve­ments and our be­lief in how much more we can achieve,” Mr Bell said ear­lier this year.

“A list­ing of­fers us fur­ther rep­u­ta­tional and com­mer­cial ben­e­fits that will sup­port our growth plans.”

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