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AJ Bell rings in changes with public float
Posted on Thursday, 08 November 2018 09:27
AJ Bell Holdings is calling time on being a privately-held online investment platform and stockbroker services provider by submitting a registration document for an initial public offering in London to the Financial Conduct Authority.

In a statement released today, the Manchester-headquartered group said Numis Securities is handling the sale of secondary shares, which gives qualifying customers a shot of participating in the free float of at least 25.0 per cent.

The listing process – under which it will re-register as a public limited company – offers further reputational and commercial benefits aimed at supported growth.

AJ Bell is one of the UK’s leading investment platforms, with its multi-channel model across the advised and direct-to-consumer segments providing opportunities to capitalise on the rapid changes within the savings and financing market.

In the financial year ended 30th September 2018, revenue was up 19.0 per cent to GBP 89.70 million (FY 2017: GBP 75.60 million) while pre-tax profit increased 31.0 per cent to GBP 28.40 million (FY 2017: GBP 21.70 million.

FY 2018 annual net profit amounted to GBP 22.65 million, showing a basic profit of 55.26 pence per share, compared with GBP 17.47 million and 42.85 pence in FY 2017.

Assets under administration (AUA) reached GBP 38.60 billion at the end of September (30th September 2017: GBP 30.90 billion) while platform customer numbers rose to 183,213 (30th September 2017: 141,207).

Since 2012, when AJ Bell acquired MSM Media, the publisher of Shares magazine, the company has achieved a 26.0 per cent compound annual growth rate in platform AUA, well in excess of the wider investment market.

Up until now, retained earnings, and not primary equity or material debt financing, has funded business expansion, which is focused on increasing customer numbers and the level of AUA.

AJ Bell said it intends to publish a prospectus, including full details of the offer, on or around 27th November 2018.

Should it do so, the investment platform’s IPO will be of 70 UK-based listings that have been announced so far this calendar year, as at the time of writing, according to Zephyr, the M&A database published by Bureau van Dijk.

© Zephus Ltd