Woodford sold AJ Bell before float announcement

The investment firm which sponsors the London Triathlon is likely to be floated later this year

The investment firm which sponsors the London Triathlon is likely to be floated later this year

The IPO would include a retail share offer, available exclusively to AJ Bell customers and is expected to take place towards the end of 2018 or early 2019. Reports have been circulating in the market for some time that the firm's founder Andy Bell was considering a listing of the company.

"We believe the outlook for our business is extremely positive".

Invesco is now the largest shareholder in the company with a 44 per cent stake, while Bell is the second largest shareholder with a 28 per cent stake. "The need for people to save and invest for their future has never been stronger and we are making it easier for them to do that".

For the 12 months ended September 31, 2017, AJ Bell recorded pretax profit of GBP21.7 million, up from GBP16.8 million in the year ago period. It increased its dividend by 10%, to 28.25p a share, equating to a 66% pay-out ratio.

According to the paper, Woodford sold the 8% holding in the company to his former employers Invesco Perpetual in February. The remainder is split between other AJ Bell management (25%) and Seneca Investment Managers (3%). Financial Conduct Authority rules dictates the fund is not allowed to hold more than 10% of its assets in unlisted shares.

Thousands of customers of one of Britain's biggest investment platforms will be given exclusive access to its stock market debut after it said that it would list in London in a deal that could value it at £500 million.

In a statement, Woodford suggested the disposal of AJ Bell and refusal to participate in the Atom fundraise was not due to liquidity concerns.

The company confirmed that the IPO does not come as a effect of any need to raise capital.

'When we sell, or don't participate in a funding around, it is not a function of an inability to follow on, but typically a function of our preference to focus our capital on businesses earlier in their lifecycle or which have the potential for more attractive returns.

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