Platform provider AJ Bell has confirmed its intention to float on the London Stock Exchange's main market, with admission currently expected to happen at some point next month.
In an announcement this morning (19 November), the company said the indicative price range in respect of the floatation, together with the maximum number of shares to be sold, would be determined "in due course" and contained in its prospectus, which should be published "in the coming weeks".
AJ Bell also confirmed its earlier intention that, as part of the floatation, qualifying AJ Bell customers in the UK will be able apply for shares via the AJ Bell online investment platform. The minimum application size in the offer will be £1,000.
According to the company's statement, the share offer will be comprised only of "existing shares to be sold by certain existing shareholders, directors and employees". It added: "The directors of the company believe this is an appropriate time to bring the group to the public market, reflecting the robust foundations established for future growth.
"The directors believe the offer and admission will: further enhance the company's profile and brand recognition with customers and advisers; extend its shareholder base to a wider group of institutional shareholders and AJ Bell customers; assist in the recruitment, retention and incentivisation of all employees; and support AJ Bell's growth strategy."
AJ Bell also said the move would provide liquidity for the selling shareholders, enabling them to realise part of their investment in the company and that, immediately following its admission on the stock exchange, the company intended to have a free float of at least 25% of its issued share capital.
According to the company's statement, each of the directors and selling shareholders will agree to "customary lock-in arrangements" in respect of their shares for a period of time following the floatation - for example, directors and senior managers will be subject to a one year lock-in period in respect of 100% of their shareholdings at admission on the stock exchange and will be subject to a further one year lock-in period thereafter in respect of 50% of their shareholdings.
Key shareholders Invesco Perpetual and Seneca Investment Managers will meanwhile be subject to a 180-day lock-in period following the date of admission in respect of their shareholdings at admission. AJ Bell has engaged Numis Securities to act as sponsor, financial adviser, sole bookrunner and broker for the floatation.
AJ Bell's intention to float has been well-trailed, with reports emerging as early as this February. Founder Andy Bell acknowledged a floatation would be "the natural next step" in March, while further details of its plans were made public in September and again earlier this month.
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