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UK News Peel Hunt staff to cash in on flotation bonanza

03:00  25 september  2021
03:00  25 september  2021 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

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Peel Hunt is looking to cash in on the London stock market bonanza in a listing that values the broker at £280m.

It has raised £112m ahead of a float that it will use to expand into Europe and invest in new technology. Peel Hunt's shares will begin trading on AIM on Wednesday at 228p.

Its bumper listing is set to turn many of its 250 staff into paper millionaires, while chief executive Steven Fine could make £20m from his 7 per cent stake. Fine said he was 'delighted with the positive reception to our IPO, with strong support from institutional investors as well as retail investors'.

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He added: 'I'm also extremely pleased that even more of our dedicated and talented staff are now shareholders following their participation in the employee share offer and would like to thank them for their commitment in making the business the success it is.'

The decision to go public comes after its earnings have soared amid a frenzy of fundraisings and floats since the pandemic struck.

Many companies rushed to raise cash during the start of the Covid crisis last year, while more recently there has been a surge in flotations and merger and acquisition activity as worries have eased.

All of this has proved lucrative for brokers such as Peel Hunt that earn fees for advising their clients on deals and fundraisings.

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At the same time its platforms are behind a big portion of retail trades placed by small investors.

Revenues at Peel Hunt rocketed to £197m in the 12 months to the end of March, up from £96m the year before.

The group provides financial services such as broking, distributing research and advising on share sales for small and medium-sized listed companies. It is the second time the group will have been listed on the junior market. The company was briefly on AIM in 2000 before it was taken over by Belgian firm KBC Bank less than a year later.

Peel Hunt was set up in 1989 by Charles Peel, a descendent of the founder of the Metropolitan Police, and Christopher Holdsworth Hunt.

In 2010 bosses led a £74m management buyout that saw the company's top executives, staff and investors, including the insurance supremo Neil Utley, take over the business.

Yesterday, Mexican fast food chain Tortilla also announced that it too plans to join AIM.

The company, which has 62 sites in the UK and the Middle East, plans to open another 45 sites over the next five years. This will include several delivery-only kitchens.

As well as London, it has branches in other UK cities such as Edinburgh and Exeter. Tortilla said it could benefit from an increasing number of empty shops that now have more affordable rents.

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