New issues in demand as flops are forgotten

Flotation boom: Three companies come to the market and find surprising strength

Further evidence that the new issues market is back to rude health came yesterday when three companies revealed strong interest in their flotation plans.

"We were a little surprised," admitted Ron Zeghibe, chief executive of the outdoor advertising group Maiden, which is joining the main stock market next week. "Demand for our shares has been pretty exceptional."

The new issues market has been in the doldrums in recent years after a number of spectacular stock market flops, most notably the computer service group McDonnell Information Systems (MDIS) and the aircraft components manufacturer Aerostructures Hamble.

But, encouraged by a buoyant stock market, investors have returned to the sector with interest in recent months.

Maiden, which owns 25,000 poster sites around the country, was expected to be worth at least pounds 65m but a placing price of 220p announced yesterday will value the company at pounds 86.5m when dealings in the shares start next Tuesday.

The placing will raise pounds 17.9m to repay debts of pounds 37m incurred when Mr Zeghibe bought out venture capital partners Morgan Grenfell Development Capital last year.

The biopharmaceutical group Vanguard Medica, the largest of the companies to reveal flotation details yesterday, also got a friendly reception in the City. Vanguard said its placing of 11 million shares at 450p was several times oversubscribed.

Estimated net cash proceeds from the placing were around pounds 46.5m - some pounds 10m higher than originally expected.

The new capital from the placing, which values Vanguard at pounds 111.5m, will be used to fund research of existing compounds and the acquisition of new compounds.

Vanguard is building a portfolio of new drug candidates through licensing and collaborative agreements. The company has an existing product line of five compounds, including treatments for migraines and inflammatory conditions. Trading in the shares is also due to begin on Tuesday.

Undoubtedly the highest-profile share launch came in the shape of the lingerie and nightwear specialist La Senza.

It is joining the junior Alternative Investment Market via a placing of 13.3 million shares at 150p each, valuing the company at over pounds 50m and raising pounds 19.4m. That compares with the pounds 15m La Senza originally hoped to raise to fund expansion to more than 152 outlets over the next five years, compared with the 22 it has now. La Senza plans to roll out its premium brand, which is pitched above Marks & Spencer, the dominant player in a British lingerie market worth almost pounds 1.5bn.

La Senza occupies a similar niche to Knickerbox, but the latter is a kiosk operation with smaller stores concentrating on bras and knickers whereas La Senza offers a wider range of fashion items.

Competition in the sector is expected to hot up. Last year, Sheffield entrepreneur Stephen Hinchliffe's Facia group bought the Contessa chain of women's lingerie shops and promised to redesign the range and broaden its appeal beyond women over 35.

The La Senza concept was developed by Suzy Shier, a quoted Canadian company which launched shops in the UK at the end of 1994.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Billie Piper as Brona in Penny Dreadful
tvReview: It’s business as usual in Victorian London. Let’s hope that changes as we get further into the new series spoiler alert
Life and Style
A nurse tends to a recovering patient on a general ward at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham
health
News
science
Arts and Entertainment
No Offence
tvReview: No Offence has characters who are larger than life and yet somehow completely true to life at the same time spoiler alert
News
Chuck Norris pictured in 1996
people
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Lucas, I SCREAM DADDIO, Installation View, British Pavilion 2015
artWhy Sarah Lucas is the perfect choice to represent British art at the Venice Biennale
News
A voter placing a ballot paper in the box at a polling station
i100
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
The Queen (Kristin Scott Thomas) in The Audience
theatreReview: Stephen Daldry's direction is crisp in perfectly-timed revival
Sport
football
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Swiss Banking and Finance

£20000 - £25000 per annum + Uncapped commission: SThree: Can you speak German,...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Executive - 6 month FTC - Central London

£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An exciting opportunity f...

Ashdown Group: Junior Project Manager (website, web application) - Agile

£215 per day: Ashdown Group: Junior Project Manager (website, web application ...

Guru Careers: Software Engineer / Software Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software Engineer / Softw...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power