Jupiter asks investors for £220m in London IPO

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The Independent Online

Jupiter Asset Management, the fund manager, is set to brave choppy equity markets and list on the London Stock Exchange. It expects to raise in the region of £220m, valuing the group at about £1bn.

The investment firm, which was sold to Commerzbank in the 1990s, said yesterday that despite a number of pulled initial public offerings in recent months, the flotation was appropriate for rewarding staff and attracting talented fund managers.

"[The IPO] is an important step in Jupiter's development, and will strengthen its ability to retain and attract talented employees, as well as providing the company's shareholders with some liquidity and a transparent valuation for their shareholdings."

It added that the proceeds would strengthen the group's balance sheet "to a level the directors believe will be beneficial to the business".

The listing is one of a number expected now that the general election is over. Several deals were pulled earlier this year, including those for private equity-backed Travelport and Merlin, after investor appetite waned in weak markets.

Jupiter will also be keen to avoid the problems that have befallen rival Gartmore, which has seen its shares fall to 141.8p after it was forced to suspend one of its star fund managers a few weeks after its IPO. Gartmore listed at 220p.

Sources close to Jupiter argue that it has a solid track record of increasing funds under management, and that a number of other similar listed fund managers, especially Schroders and Henderson, have a performed well in recent months.

The listing could lead to a £500m pay day for Jupiter's 500 staff, with its chief executive, Edward Bonham Carter, brother of actress Helena Bonham Carter, and a number of senior fund managers expected to benefit. TA Associates, the private equity firm that helped fund a management buyout when Commerzbank sold the group in 2007, is expected to keep its 20 per cent stake.

Staff at the firm will be allowed to sell up to 20 per cent of their holdings, and will be subject to a phased three-year lock-in.