To float or not to float? | 27 January 10

COMPANIES considering a stock market flotation are being offered expert advice sessions over the next fortnight.

Law firm Ward Hadaway is joining forces with investment banking firm Brewin Dolphin to hold a series of bespoke consultations for businesses thinking about listing.

The confidential sessions on January 28 and February 11 will provide attendees with guidance as to whether a flotation is suitable for them and provide a comprehensive picture of the flotation process.

Richard Butts, corporate finance partner and head of Ward Hadaway’s capital markets group, will lead the law firm’s team of advisers.

Richard said: “With stock market recovery, flotation is again on the agenda for suitable businesses.

“If economic recovery continues, there are predictions that this year could see the flotation window re-open as companies look to fund growth by way of the capital markets.

“However, the decision on whether a float is right for your company requires very careful consideration.

“This is why we have teamed up with Brewin Dolphin to provide in-depth expert advice to North-East businesses weighing up their options for funding growth.

“These sessions will be completely confidential and individually tailored to each company since each business presents different issues when considering whether or not to float.

“We will also look at the different stock markets available to companies looking to float, from AIM and Plus to the Official List of the London Stock Exchange.”

Andrew Emmott, director of corporate finance at Brewin Dolphin, will provide his expert advice at the flotation consultation sessions.

Andrew said: “We have seen a marked increase in the number of companies considering an IPO (Initial Public Offering) in 2010, with some flotation processes already commenced.

“Investor appetite for new funding proposals is also much improved and we do expect to see a number of companies take advantage in 2010.

“Companies decide to float for many reasons, not just to raise investment capital or realise value, but to raise the profile of the business, create acquisition currency in the form of tradable shares and incentivise employees.

“We will offer companies attending an informal view on whether the stock market is suitable for them, how they could benefit and how the process might work.

“We will take a look at the alternatives to flotation too, as these are just as important to consider at an early stage.

“These sessions will provide an informal venue for entrepreneurial management teams to discuss their ambitions and consider a flotation now or at any point in the future.”

Ward Hadaway’s capital markets group has extensive experience, both of bringing companies to the market and servicing the needs of public companies following flotation.

Ward Hadaway acts for around half of all the North-East’s plcs. The capital markets group has brought companies to both the Official List and the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange as well as to PLUS Markets.

Brewin Dolphin Investment Banking is the leading financial advisor and broker to listed companies in the regions.

Brewin Dolphin Investment Banking is corporate adviser to over 100 small and medium size quoted companies and institutions and Brewin Dolphin won the award for the Best Discretionary Broker in the Shares Awards 2009.

* To find out further details and to register for the event, please click here.