McColl’s valued at £200m ahead of market debut

Kasmira Jefford
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SHARES in McColl’s fell on its first day of conditional trading yesterday as investors gave the convenience store group a subdued reception ahead its full market debut next week.

The retailer, which owns 1,276 newsagents and convenience stores, set its share listing offer price at 191p per share yesterday, valuing the company at £200m.

However, the shares fell 6p to 184.5p in conditional trading. This is where shares are unofficially traded before they are officially admitted to the stock exchange. The lower price gave the company a market value of about £193m, raising concerns over the pricing of the float.

The company is the first of a host of retailers due to come to the market in coming weeks, including Pets at Home and

McColl’s founder and chief executive James Lancaster said there had been “strong interest” from investors, with its offer of 69.5m shares expected to raise about £132.8m. “The success of this initial public offering is a clear endorsement of the quality of the business and its clear prospects for future growth and profitability.”

Management have sold about half of their 80 per cent holding while Cavendish Square Partners, a fund controlled by the private equity firm Caird Capital, reduced its 20 per cent stake by around two thirds.

Cavendish are now locked-up for a period of 180 days before they can sell their remaining stake while management have agreed not to sell shares for a year.