Law firm Knights has cheered a successful £103.5 million stock market debut in a move that nets a £20 million fortune for its founders and top bosses.
The group – a regional law firm with annual revenues of £35 million – confirmed the pricing of shares at 145p each, raising around £50 million to fund expansion plans.
Knights is set to be admitted to London’s junior AIM market for smaller companies on June 29 after it said it saw strong demand from institutional investors for the share pacing, which was “significantly oversubscribed”.
It will mark the biggest law firm flotation since Gateley – Britain’s first legal firm to go public in 2015, which was valued at £100 million when it listed.
The flotation will also deliver a massive windfall for chairman Bal Johal and other selling shareholders, Karl Bamford, Joanne Beech and Mark Beech, who will receive around £20 million as part of the deal.
Chief executive David Beech retains a shareholding in the company of around 45.5%.
Mr Johal will hold a stake of around 1.7%, while other management will together have a stake of around 3.4%.
Knights said the initial public offering (IPO) will allow it to “accelerate its growth strategy, both through organic and acquisition-led growth”.
We believe that the admission to AIM will provide us with a platform to continue our rapid growth, attracting business organically and boosting our profile to secure acquisitions
Knights chairman David Beech
Mr Beech said the flotation marks an “exciting milestone in the growth of Knights”.
He added: “We believe that the admission to AIM will provide us with a platform to continue our rapid growth, attracting business organically and boosting our profile to secure acquisitions.”
The listing of Knights comes amid a flurry of law firm IPOs, with Rosenblatt Solicitors last month raising £43 million in its flotation.
This follows IPOs last year of Keystone and Gordon Dadds.
Knights has six offices across the UK in Newcastle-Under-Lyme, Wilmslow, Chester, Derby, Cheltenham and Oxford, with 430 staff.
It is also adding 63 employees and a seventh office following completion of the acquisition of Turner Parkinson.