Churchill halves flotation target

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The Independent Online
Churchill China has halved the amount to be raised from its pending stock market flotation to pounds 7.5m, writes James Bethell.

Churchill said the decision reflected volatility in the stock market and investors' wariness of new issues. The flotation price is 280p, having originally been set at 330p.

Stephen Roper, chief executive, said: 'It is strange for a company with a 200-year trading record like ours to find it so difficult to enter the market.'

Mr Roper said there was a bad odour about new issues left by the failure of newly- floated high-technology companies, management buyouts and companies with a narrow base of customers. However, he said, Churchill had three divisions, 2,000 customers, no debt, generated cash, exported significantly and needed the capital for expansion.

Yesterday also saw SeaPerfect, the world's largest shell-fish producer and the first aquaculture company to be floated on the market, unveil plans to raise pounds 27m in the City.