Major Touchstone shareholders sell out after £500m IP Group offer rebuffed by board

Lucy White
IP Group Touchstone
Shareholders of tech incubator Touchstone have accepted IP Group's offer despite the board's earlier rebuttal (Source: Getty)

Major shareholders in Touchstone Innovations, a tech incubator, have taken up IP Group on its £500m offer after it was rebuffed by the business's board earlier today.

IP Group approached the Imperial College London spin-out this morning with a takeover bid, offering 2.15 of its own shares for every one of Touchstone's.

The bid, which implied a value of 307 pence per Touchstone share, was turned down by the board of directors. But later in the day, shareholders including Woodford, Invesco and Lansdowne – which together own almost 30 per cent of Touchstone – committed to take IP Group up on their offer.

IP Group has also received letters of intent from a further number of investors, which together with Woodford, Invesco and Lansdowne represent a total of 74.3 per cent of Touchstone's share capital.

IP Group – which works alongside top universities to commercialise ideas – also completed a £200m capital raising yesterday, issuing around 143 million shares at 140 pence apiece.

It plans to use the proceeds to launch its Australian business, in which it will partner with the country's “group of eight” universities as well as the University of Auckland in New Zealand.

The "group of eight" coalition, broadly equivalent to the UK's Russell Group, consists of the Australian National University, Monash University and the Universities of Adelaide, Melbourne, New South Wales, Queensland, Sydney and Western Australia.