A share-payment company that dishes out money to one in two people in the UK has unveiled plans to join the throng of businesses rushing to list on the stock markets.
Equiniti, which administers shares and pensions for companies such as Marks & Spencer and Royal Mail, plans to sell just over half of the company to retail investors who are willing to stump up at least £1,000. That will give it a value of around £700m.
“We’re kind of a hidden gem,” said its chief executive Guy Wakeley, a former Rolls-Royce design engineer. “We’ve got growth in the company and it’s incredibly defensive. Our services are non-discretionary.”
The company has £250m of debts.
The private equity firm Advent owns the group after spinning it out from Lloyds TSB in 2007. It started life administering British Army pensions in 1836. The company, based in the West Sussex seaside town of Lancing, competes against rivals such as Capita and Computershare.
It administrated the payment of £90bn to 27 million people in the UK last year, and does work for about 70 companies on the FTSE 100.
Other companies joining the rush to market this autumn include the insurance group Hastings; Worldpay, the payments business that Royal Bank of Scotland was forced to spin off after its bailout; and Ibstock, the UK’s biggest brick maker.
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