Travers Smith strengthens IPO standing

Travers Smith Braithwaite is consolidating its position at the forefront of the initial public offering (IPO) market, after advising on one of the first main market IPOs of the year, that of longstanding client Pinewood Shepperton.

Pinewood Shepperton’s placing was oversubscribed at the offer price of 180 pence, giving the company a market capitalisation of more than £80m.

Travers has advised the film studio company – whose notable titles include the James Bond and Harry Potter series– since its work for 3i on the £62m management buyout of Pinewood Studios from Rank in February 2000. The firm subsequently won the instruction to advise Pinewood on its acquisition of special effects outfit Shepperton in 2001.

Client relationship partner for Pinewood Shepperton and head of private equity Chris Hale advised on the listing alongside corporate partners Neal Watson and Oliver Barnes.

Outside the main market, Travers Smith has advised on a string of AIM floats, including the accelerated IPOs of Torex Retail and The Lawyer’s parent company Centaur Holdings.

But while AIM is springing back to life, main market IPOs remain a rarity.

Watson said private equity houses’ need to exit investments is a major driver of IPO work this year. For example, the AIM float of noodle chain Wagamama, on which Travers Smith is also advising, was brought about by Graphite’s planned exit from its investment.

Macfarlanes partner Tim Lewis advised the bookrunner Cazenove, while Nabarro Nathanson partner Iain Newman represented Pinewood Shepperton’s executive directors.