Taunton falls flat with just 30% take-up

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The Independent Online
TAUNTON Cider, producer of the Diamond White and Red Rock drinks, became the latest in a string of companies to see its attempt to join the stock market end in ignominy this summer, writes Robert Cole.

Only 30 per cent of the shares offered to the public were bought. However, underwriting arrangements mean Taunton will receive the pounds 78m it was aiming to raise, and it will join the Official List.

Jeremy Prescott, Taunton's adviser at Samuel Montagu, the merchant bank, said the level of subscription was 'quite satisfactory at the end of the day'.

He said 30 per cent was respectable compared with worse results from Anglian, the windows group, The Telegraph publishing group and MFI, the furniture retailer.

Half the shares issued in the flotation were placed among investment institutions. Shares available in the placing were two times subscribed. Mr Prescott said that strong institutional enthusiasm 'bodes well' for the start of dealings on 23 July.

Of the shares offered to the public, 15 per cent were taken by sub-underwriters, lifting the public subscription to 45 per cent, in so-called 'offset' arrangements.

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