Zeus Capital top of the board for junior flotations

Michael Bow
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LONDON’S northern rival Manchester has emerged as a burgeoning scene for equity capital markets, with a Salford-based advisory rocketing to the top of the league for junior market listed flotations for the first time.

Zeus Capital has soared to the top of the Alternative Investment Market (Aim) adviser rankings for new firms coming to market, thanks to its work on two of the biggest floats on Aim since 2006.

It is the first time the company has headed the list, which is compiled by Dealogic, after being placed in second place last year.

The surge was driven by the float of Manchester-based online fashion retailer Boohoo in March, which raised £300m for the company.

It comes as the Manchester office of investment bank Rothschild also enjoys an uptick in advisory work. after working with Bolton-based AO World on its £1.2bn market float.

Rothschild has been based in the city for 45 years, owing to its historic ties with the famous banking dynasty.

Together, Boohoo and AO World represent two of the biggest internet-related floats in the world so far this year, trailing the US float of King.

Zeus, which also has offices in Birmingham and London, also helped with the initial public offering of DX Group, the second biggest float on Aim this year.

In total the company raised £514.5m for three companies floating on Aim between January and March, more than double the amount raised by its nearest competitor.

“Zeus Capital is extremely proud of its track record as nominated adviser and broker to some of the UK’s most successful IPOs and the returns it has provided for investors through its focus on quality businesses,” joint-chief executive John Goold said.

The increase comes amid the best first quarter for junior stock market listings for some years. Figures from Dealogic reveal that the first quarter of the year saw 18 floats on the market raising £1.07bn – triple the six floats that raised £35.5m during the same period last year when markets were quieter.