AJ Bell PLC (LON:AJB) saw its value soar by almost a third as its shares started conditional trading on the London Stock Exchange on Friday following an initial public offering (IPO) that valued the investment platform provider at around £651mln.
In afternoon trading, the stock was changing hands at 219p each, just below the session peak of 224p, against an offer price of 160p which had been bang in the middle of the target range of 154p to 166p.
The offering comprised 108,264,032 existing shares, representing 26.6% of the company's issued share capital immediately following admission, and it raised around £169.3mln for selling shareholders. Retail investors got around 20% of the shares offered, with customers getting a minimum of 527 shares each.
In the year ending 30 September 2018, AJ Bell had an operating profit of £28mln, on revenue of £90mln and employed more than 750 people.
Andy Bell, the firm’s chief executive officer commented: "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."
Unconditional dealings in the shares will commence at 8.00 am on 12 December 2018.
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