McColl’s kicks off retail IPOs with plan for £50m stock market float

Kasmira Jefford
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CONVENIENCE store group McColl’s is set to jump the queue of retailers preparing to join the stock market after confirming plans yesterday to float next month.

The retailer, which owns 1,276 newsagents and convenience stores, wants to raise £50m in a main market listing that is expected to value the group at around £225m.

McColl’s management, led by its founder James Lancaster, owns 80 per cent of the company and will sell down some of its holding while Cavendish Square Partners, a fund controlled by the private equity firm Caird Capital, also plans to sell some of its shares.

Lancaster, who founded McColl’s in 1973 and serves as executive chairman, said it was a “long-term ambition” to be a quoted company.

“The market seemed to be receptive and there seems to be good investor appetite,” he said.

It will use the funds to slash its £90m debt-pile and to take advantage of the fast-growing convenience sector by converting around 300 of its 562 newsagents into convenience stores and acquiring up to 50 new sites a year.

McColl’s revenues grew by two per cent to £869.4m last year.



NUMIS star Alex Ham leads a four-strong team at the investment bank acting for McColl’s as sponsor, financial adviser and bookrunner. Ham, who is co-head of corporate broking at the investment bank, joined Numis in 2005 fresh from university and has quickly risen through the ranks after being talent-spotted by the firm’s former chairman Michael Spencer.

Ham has worked with clients across a number of sectors, overseeing the broker’s involvement in the flotation of estate agency Foxtons last September and those of Horizon, Ocado and Betfair in 2010.

He has acted for Hugh Osmond’s Horizon in 2011 on its £527m acquisition of power firm APR and is also a senior adviser on corporate broking and equity capital markets to online fashion retailer Asos.

Numis corporate finance director Oliver Cardigan, corporate broking director Mark Lander, and associate director Oliver Hardy are also involved in the bookrunning process.

Meanwhile mid-market M&A specialists Livingstone Partners are acting as financial advisers to McColl’s.