Exco public float 3.2 times subscribed

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The Independent Online
THE public part of the Exco moneybrokers' flotation was a healthy 3.2 times subscribed, setting it apart from many other recent launches, including 3i last week.

The price was set at the end of June when stock markets were in a bout of uncertainty and financial services firms were out of favour. Analysts said the price was low as a result.

Such caution at a time when other flotations were delayed or pulled altogether appears to have created a wave of interest in the offer, which values the whole of the money broker at pounds 215m.

The selling strategy concentrated on intermediaries such as private client brokers, accountants and lawyers, using a database of names. Three-quarters of the shares being sold were pre-placed with institutions.

Advisers said the promotion cost was less than pounds 200,000, compared with pounds 4m for the pounds 1.8bn 3i flotation.

There were 9,500 applications for the shares in the public offer for Exco after 20,000 prospectuses were sent out. 'Using intermediaries has proved to be a very good route,' said an adviser.

All applications for up to 500 shares have been met in full, with the allocation rising to 850 shares for applications for 3,000 shares. Applications up to 2.25 million shares will receive 25 per cent, and larger applications will receive a ceiling of 750,000 shares.

Letters and cheques will be posted next Monday and trading will begin on Tuesday.

Exco is an independent money broker which took a stock exchange listing in 1981 and was taken over by British & Commonwealth in 1987.

B&C went into receivership four years ago as a result of the collapse of its subsidiary, Atlantic Computers, but Exco retained its management independence.