Investment platform provider AJ Bell’s shares have jumped 25 per cent after listing on the London Stock Exchange this morning.
The price per ordinary share was set at 160 pence, making the firm’s market capitalisation approximately £651m at the beginning of conditional trading. By 8.30am shares had hit 205 pence.
The Manchester-based company is floating 108,264,032 ordinary shares, or 26.6 per cent of its issued share capital at the admission’s kick-off.
Chief executive Andy Bell, who co-founded the company in 1995, said this was to give customers the opportunity to participate in the firm’s future success.
Bell said: “We now have 172,000 customers and I want them to be able to share in our success by giving them exclusive access to the offer”.
This morning, the company stated this offer was “heavily over-subscribed” and represented approximately 20 per cent of the shares sold in the offer.
The company said that all successful applications received a minimum of 527 shares priced at 160 pence per share but “were subject to scaling back due to the over-subscribed nature of the qualifying offer”.
Bell says: “The IPO is a significant milestone for the business and I see it as firing the starting gun on our next phase of growth, which I’m massively excited about leading the business through.
“The demand for our IPO from both blue chip institutions and our own customers was a real endorsement of our business and the market opportunities that lie ahead of us and I’m pleased to welcome our new shareholders on board.
“I’d also like to thank our employees who do so much day in, day out to ensure we deliver great service to our customers and help them to invest.”
Last month, AJ Bell reported £46.1bn AUA, up from £39.8bn for the financial year ended 2017.
The platform provider is estimating to raise £169.3m for the selling shareholders.
AJ Bell’s main investors Invesco Perpetual and Seneca Investment Management will remain the company’s main shareholders after admission. Invesco, as well as Andy Bell, sold down their stakes to enable the float.
Commenting on the IPO Seneca IM fund manager Richard Parfect says: “We’re pleased that AJ Bell has reached this stage in its evolution.”
“A market listing should help raise the profile of the platform and it’s feasible that others will follow.”
Invesco spokeswoman says: “UK Equities team is very pleased with news of AJ Bell’s successful IPO this morning. As a long term and committed shareholder we have worked with the company for many years since our initial investment in 2007.
“Invesco supported the company’s decision to IPO, facilitating the free float.”
“We remain both a substantial and committed shareholder on behalf of our clients and are excited to continue to support the company in its next stage of growth.”
Directors and selling shareholders will be a subject to 180 days lock-in.