Linklaters scoops rare IT services IPO for Phoenix

Linklaters scoops rare IT services IPO for Phoenix” />Linklaters has won Phoenix IT Group as a new client after advising the company on the first initial public offering (IPO) by an IT services company in more than two years.

The magic circle firm scooped the mandate to act for Phoenix on its £134.2m IPO after participating in a beauty parade against a number of rival firms. It is understood that this is the first time the company has instructed a City law firm.

Linklaters corporate partner Mark Stamp, who led the deal for Phoenix, said he was looking forward to acting for the company going forward. “To work for the company is very good and will hopefully be the start of a mutually beneficial relationship,” said Stamp.

Phoenix is already looking for opportunities to make future acquisitions.

Herbert Smith corporate partner Greg Mulley advised existing client UBS as sole global coordinator, book runner, financial adviser and sponsor on the IPO.

Mulley said: “It was good for a float in this sector to happen, albeit at the lower end of the price range.”

Around 40.8 million shares priced at £2.35 each were placed with institutional investors.

Following the first day of conditional trading, Phoenix had a market capitalisation of £134.2m. Full trading started on 16 November.

Stamp and Mulley said that the market had a long way to go before it bounces back to life.

“I still think there’s a tough market for equities, but there are definitely some green shoots,” said Stamp.

Mulley added: “I don’t think we’ll see a rush of deals – the market is still fragile.”

A separate Linklaters team, led by corporate partner John Lane, advised Nick Robinson, who sold approximately a third of his 50 per cent stake in Phoenix.

Macfarlanes corporate partner Charles Martin acted for longstanding client Alchemy, which sold all of its 45 per cent stake in the company.