Belfast Telegraph

AJ Bell plans to go ahead with flotation

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."

Belfast Telegraph