BlueBay founders net £30m apiece from IPO

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The Independent Online

The fixed-income fund manager BlueBay Asset Management got its float away at the top end of its predicted price range yesterday, raising £189m and valuing the company at about £571m.

The float will see the company's founders - chief executive Hugh Willis and chief investment officer Mark Poole - each realise about £30m of their stakes in BlueBay. The pair will still each be left with 12 per cent holdings in the company, worth some £68.5m.

Barclays has sold its entire 15 per cent share in the company, while Shinsei Bank, the Japanese financial services outfit, has reduced its holding from 15 to about 5 per cent. Lehman Brothers is one of the company's new major shareholders, with a holding of 4.99 per cent. It will not be able to sell its stake for a minimum of 12 months. The staff will continue to hold about one-third of the company's equity after the float.

Shinsei will sell a further 7 million shares as part of an over-allotment option granted to Credit Suisse, which was the sponsor and sole bookrunner to the float. Citigroup and Fox Pitt Kelton were co-lead managers, while Spencer House Partners were the company's financial advisers.

Tom Cross Brown, the former CEO of ABN Amro, and Terence Eccles, the vice-chairman of JP Morgan Cazenove, have been appointed to the board as non-executive directors.

The group announced its intention to float just over a week ago, setting a proposed price range of 250-300p a share. The offering was priced yesterday at the top end of the range, at 300p. "We ... believe the success of our IPO demonstrates the interest that our new shareholders have in our growth strategy," Mr Willis said.

Unconditional trading in BlueBay will begin on Wednesday.

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