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BBB £20m share issue to finance major deals

Berkeley Berry Birch is issuing over 27 million new shares to raise £20m to fund a string of large-scale acquisitions and infrastructure improvements.

The group, which has 645 registered individuals and a turnover of £55m, plans to spend £16.2m on buying a number of national and regi-onal IFAs on the basis of one-third cash and two-thirds shares.

BBB says the capital from the share issue would give it the potential to make around £50m-worth of acquisitions and almost double its size.

Around £2.8m will be invested in the IT infrastructure to support the enlarged group.

The capital will be raised from a number of institutional investors, including Aegon UK, Clerical Medical, Friends Provident, Norwich Union, Scottish Widows and Skandia.

Berkeley Berry Birch has already issued indicative proposals to acquire one national IFA and four regional IFAs with an aggregate turnover of around £12m.

The group is also set to launch a new nursery network called Alpha to Omega which aims to attract smaller IFAs, as well as a new network for the distribution of nonregulated products.

Berkeley Berry Birch group deputy chief executive Stephen Ingledew says: “This is more about profitability than sheer size. The markets may be volatile but if we can do it in bad times as a group it shows strength. It is either now or never.”

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