February 21, 2018 / 12:40 PM / a month ago

Financial services firm SimplyBiz eyes 150 million pound London IPO - source

LONDON, Feb 21 (Reuters) - British company SimplyBiz is joining a queue of financial services firms preparing for flotations on the London stock market with plans for a listing that could value the group at more than 150 million pounds ($209 million).

Huddersfield-based SimplyBiz is working with stockbroker Zeus Capital on a possible initial public offering (IPO), according to a person familiar with the matter.

The group is targeting a market capitalisation of between 140 million pounds and 155 million pounds in a listing that would raise 30 million pounds of new money, the person said.

SimplyBiz provides business support and compliance services to more than 3,400 firms, including independent financial advisers and wealth managers.

Its float plans come as a number of other financial services firms eye listings in London, including Jersey-based fund administration business JTC Group, investment platform operator IntegraFin, and Cabot Credit Management, which is Britain’s biggest debt collector.

A spokeswoman for SimplyBiz said that “it regularly reviews its strategic options in terms of financing and has recently appointed Zeus Capital as an adviser to the business”.

Companies are gearing up for IPOs despite the recent stock market sell-off, which was sparked by investor fears that inflation will force the U.S. Federal Reserve to lift interest rates more aggressively than had been expected.

That roiled markets from the United States to Asia, including Britain’s benchmark FTSE 100 index which has slumped about 7 percent from the record high it touched last month.

SimplyBiz considered an IPO in 2015 but eventually dropped the idea in favour of securing alternative financing.

It has now revived a listing as the financial services sector wrestles with rising levels of regulation, which could boost demand for its services and make its shares appealing to investors.

A company filing shows that SimplyBiz generated a pre-tax profit of 4.9 million pounds in 2016 on revenues of 40.6 million pounds. It is controlled by Chairman Ken Davy, who founded the group 16 years ago. ($1 = 0.7180 pounds) (Reporting by Ben Martin; Editing by Adrian Croft)

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