Private investors turn away from Fiscal Properties float

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The Independent Online
THE RETAIL element of the flotation of Fiscal Properties has flopped, writes Robert Cole. Only 9 per cent of the ordinary shares offered to private investors were taken up.

An issue of convertible preference shares offered at the same time as the ordinary shares also found scant enthusiasm.

During the flotation process the company said its ownership of properties let to government departments underpinned a low-risk profile. Last month Terry Goddard, chairman and finance director, said: 'We believe that institutions and individuals will welcome the opportunity to invest in a company with a secure income stream and prospect for capital growth.'

Despite the lack of enthusiasm from private individuals, Fiscal will meet its flotation ambitions because the institutional element was oversubscribed.

Companies seeking a listing are obliged to make some shares available to private investors if more than pounds 25m is to be raised.

Ironically, Fiscal reduced the amount it planned to raise during the preparatory stages of the float. It actually wanted pounds 23.8m, below the threshold where a retail offer becomes obligatory.