Finers Stephens Innocent has added Flying Scots-man Railways, which operates the famous steam train, to its growing initial public offering (IPO) collection. Despite dwindling IPO activity, the firm has been steadily building a portfolio of small and medium-sized companies floating on AIM and OFEX.
Finers advised Flying Scotsman on its offer for subscription and simultaneous flotation on OFEX. The offer is set to raise £2.2m and give the company a post-flotation value of about £5.7m.
“We've actually had a reasonably good year. Because we've targeted ourselves at the small to medium market, we're seeing a lot of flotation activity”
Ashley Reeback, Finers Stephens Innocent
Finers partner Ashley Reeback acted for Flying Scotsman via a recommendation from broker Daniel Stewart & Co. The broker sponsored Flying Scotsman's entry to OFEX. Historically, it has referred companies to Reeback for listings work.
Flying Scotsman chief executive Peter Butler described the company as the best-known unexploited brand in the world. Reeback said: “Flying Scotsman has got a bit of history and romance about it.” He predicted a resurgence in the popularity of the steam train on the back of the Harry Potter marketing phenomenon.
The deal took longer than anticipated to complete. Reeback attributed the delay to market sentiment. He said he had witnessed a marked increase in the length of time taken to see a deal through to its conclusion.
He argued that, during the last six months, new listings had been greeted with caution. More optimistically, he said: “I've noticed over the past few weeks that the market is picking up again. There is some demand there.
“We've actually had a reasonably good year. Because we've targeted ourselves at the small to medium market, we're seeing a lot of flotation activity.”
In addition to Flying Scotsman, Reeback advised the shareholders of Mean Fiddler Holdings on the sale and reverse takeover of meanfiddler.com.
“I've personally worked on about a dozen OFEX floats during the past two years,” observed Reeback.
Flying Scotsman's admission to OFEX is expected next January.