Olswang ushers New Star on to LSE

Olswang has acted for longstanding client New Star Asset Management on its return of £364m to shareholders and admission to the London Stock Exchange’s official list.

Corporate partner Simon Morgan led the Olswang team along with banking partner Moni Mannings, employee share schemes partner Michael Deeks and a number of associates.

Olswang has acted for New Star since 2000, advising on a number of fundraisings and acquisitions, as well as on the company’s floatation on AIM in 2005.

The latest deal saw New Star return capital via a scheme of arrangement with the listing taking place yesterday (13 June). On admission, the company’s market capitalisation was in excess of £1bn.

According to Morgan, the deal was particularly complex because New Star has a complicated lock-in arrangement relating to employee shareholders.

“In 2005 when the company floated on AIM it introduced the lock-in by putting new holding company on top of New Star via a court-approved scheme of arrangement,” he said. “Between 2005 and 2009 shares would fall out of that and become permanently owned by the employee.

“This year the firm wanted to return £360m to shareholders and the way to do that was to put a new holding company on top that borrowed a substantial proportion of the £360m. However, doing that would have triggered a mechanism that would have released all the shareholders from the lock in so they did a new lock in within that.”

UBS Investment Bank and Citigroup Global Markets acted as joint sponsors and financial advisors on the deal with Goldman Sachs also taking an advisory role. All three were advised by Linklaters.