Akin Gump in Specialist Fund Market’s first IPO

Akin Gump in Specialist Fund Market's first IPOThe London office of US firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld has advised the first vehicle to list on the Specialist Fund Market, the London Stock Exchange’s public capital market for alternative investment vehicles.

Akin Gump landed an instruction from alternative investment company Da Vinci Capital Management, with investment funds partner Simon Thomas and capital markets partner Sebastian Rice leading the team working on the flotation of its CIS Private Sector Growth Fund.

The fund, which listed on the exchange today (29 May), raised around USD110m (£55.65m) on admission, with the money due to be invested in non-listed equity and equity-related securities of companies located in Russia and other CIS countries.

Thomas said Da Vinci has been his client for the past year, adding that the listing was complicated by the fact that there was no precedent for this type of flotation.

“Because it was the first one we had to tread a very careful path between what the markets expect for a full listing, for an AIM listing and for a listing in the private fund world, where this client had previously existed,” he explained.

“The length of the project was longer than you would normally expect because no one had done this before while the climate for raising money has changed quite significantly since May last year.”

The fund initially raised capital via a private placing last December that attracted interest from institutions around the world. Akin Gump also advised on that fundraising.

Shore Capital Stockbrokers acted as placing agents on the private placing and flotation, under advice from a Pinsent Masons team led by corporate partners Jon Harris and Sean Page.