AJ Bell shares take off on market debut
Shares in AJ Bell rocketed on their first day of trading as the investment firm was valued at ÂŁ651 million.
The group confirmed last month that it would press ahead with the initial public offering, floating a 27% stake, and this week set its offer price at 160p per share.
But buoyant investors sent shares up more than 30% to 213p in morning trade.
â AJ Bell (@AJBellGroup) December 7, 2018
Boss and founder Andy Bell said: âThe IPO is a significant milestone for the business and I see it as firing the starting gun on our next phase of growth, which Iâm massively excited about leading the business through.
âThe 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 Iâm pleased to welcome our new shareholders on board.â
Market volatility and Brexit fears have resulted in several disappointing London listingsÂ in recent months but, undeterred, AJ Bell said it believes this to be an âappropriate time to bring the group to the public marketâ.
At a ÂŁ651 million valuation, founder Mr Bellâs 28% stakeÂ is worth around ÂŁ180 million and he has trimmed his holding to 25%.
Invesco, which holds a 44% stake, has sold down its holding to 25% following the IPO.
AJ Bellâs 750 staff are also set to pocket more than ÂŁ2 million between them as a result of the listing, which raised ÂŁ169.3 million.
Last year AJ Bell reported revenues of ÂŁ89.7 million, up 19%, and profit before tax up 31% to ÂŁ28.4 million.