Slimma achieves an outsize premium

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SLIMMA, the outsize clothing manufacturer, yesterday saw its shares climb to 141p, a 17.5 per cent premium over the placing price, on the first day of dealing, writes Diane Coyle.

The company supplies women's clothes in sizes 16 to 36 under its own brand to mail order catalogues in Britain and Europe and under a variety of brand names to retailers.

Duncan Hall, an analyst with the brokers Wise Speke, said: 'The part of their business that is growing is the trading with mail order catalogues. It is not a kind area of the high street market.'

Stephen Thwaite, Slimma's chief executive, said the company would expand in Europe through acquisition. It has increased production capacity through the recent acquisition of a plant in Staffordshire.

The directors, who invested pounds 300,000 at the time of Slimma's 1991 buyout from Tootal, retain 35 per cent of the shares.

Yorkshire Bank Development Capital, Slimma's venture capital backer, has retained 15 per cent, less than it originally planned.

One reason for the placing was to reduce Slimma's debt and redeem preference shares. The net amount raised for the company's expansion, after expenses, was pounds 2.65m.