The Autins Group, a Rugby-based manufacturer of acoustic and thermal insulation products for automotive companies including Bentley and Honda, started trading on London’s AIM market on August 22, valued at £37.1 million.
The company raised £26.6 million in the listing, £14 million of which will be invested in new product lines and equipment, with the rest going to selling shareholders.
That makes it the largest listing in the UK since the Brexit vote, overtaking the July 8 IPO of acquisition vehicle Dorcaster, which raised £9.7 million, according to Dealogic.
Cantor Fitzgerald is Autins’ nominated adviser and broker. The listing of Autins is the firm’s first bookrunner role on a UK IPO since the referendum.
Phil Davies, a managing director in Cantor Fitzgerald’s corporate finance team, told Financial News that he had been working on the float of Autins, which also has businesses in Germany and Sweden, for about a year.
He said: “One of the benefits of that lead time in terms of getting to know a business is that it allowed us to talk to potential investors, talk to institutional fund managers and get some sense as to what they were looking at, what they were interested in.”
Marketing for the deal began before the June referendum. Following the vote for Brexit, Davies and his colleagues sounded out investors who had already shown interest ahead of the official roadshow: “The resounding view was that we should press on.”
Nonetheless, the referendum was highlighted as a risk in Autins’ IPO prospectus due to uncertainties about the time frame of the UK’s exit from the EU and its effect on the fiscal, monetary and regulatory landscape in the UK.
As the company stated in the document: “Although it is not possible to predict fully the effects of the exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union, any of these risks, taken singularly or in the aggregate, could have a material adverse effect on the group’s business, financial condition and results of operations.”
Davies is cheered by the fact that Autins closed an oversubscribed order book without scaling back the amount of money it wanted to raise. Now the task will be to ensure other companies follow Autins’ lead during an uncertain period.
Davies said: “Whether it be for later on this year or into next year we’re talking to a number of UK-based businesses who have aspirations to come to market. I think it’s very clear that the ability to point to a business like this successfully coming through with the sort of share register it’s got and the quality of support we’ve seen coming from the City is definitely very positive.”
AIM has been a welcome source of IPO activity for bankers in 2016 – as FN reported earlier in August, the amount raised by AIM listings was up 72% year-on-year, at the same time as a 74% drop in the amount raised on the London Stock Exchange’s main market.