Lightbulb moment for IP as it buys intellectual property rival

Michael Bow
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INTELLECTUAL property company IP Group yesterday bought rival firm Fusion IP in a deal valuing Fusion at £88m.

IP, which works with universities to commercialise research ideas, already owned 20 per cent of the firm before yesterday’s deal.

A £70m offer for the rest of the company it did not already own was accepted by Fusion yesterday, the company said.

The offer is a 27 per cent premium on the closing price of Fusion shares on Wednesday night.

IP also said it will raise £75m in a new share placing at a discount of 8.3 per cent to the current share price.

“The acquisition is highly complementary to IP Group’s core business,” the group’s chief executive Alan Aubrey said.

Fusion boss David Baynes said he hoped the takeover would “bring even more value to our university partners”. Shares in Fusion rose more than 21 per cent.



IP Group used Numis’ corporate finance chief Etienne Bottari to help lead the deal. He was assisted by Michael Meade and Freddie Barnfield and James Black on the corporate broking side. Bottari spent most of his career at Lazard and originally joined Numis in 2006 before returning as head of corporate finance in 2010. Numis moved up to fourth place in the FTSE 250 top advisers table last year.