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AJ Bell confirms IPO plans

Platform AJ Bell has confirmed it is considering an initial public offering on the main market of the London Stock Exchange, including offering shares to customers.

Reports emerged last month the company was considering an IPO and it has now appointed adviser Numis Securities to explore the float, which is expected to take place towards the end of 2018 or early 2019.

AJ Bell joins several of its competitors in mulling IPOs. Embark Group and Nucleus are reportedly considering floating and Transact floated on 2 March with a £650m valuation.

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AJ Bell says it does not intend to raise new capital as part of the IPO. Its two largest shareholders – chief executive Andy Bell and Invesco Perpetual – will retain significant holdings after the float.

Bell says an IPO is a “natural next step” in the company’s journey.

He says: “We believe the outlook for our business is extremely positive. The need for people to save and invest for their future has never been stronger and we are making it easier for them to do that.”

According to AJ Bell’s website, chief executive Andy Bell owns 28 per cent of the company, Invesco Perpetual 44 per cent, Seneca Investment Managers 3 per cent and AJ Bell management and “other” investors hold a 25 per cent stake.

Woodford Investment Management was previously listed as owning an 8 per cent stake in the company.

For the 12 months to 30 September 2017, AJ Bell reported a 29 per cent increase in profit before tax to £21.7m.


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