Capital Drilling makes a triumphant start to trading on the LSE official list

EMERGING markets-focused mining group Capital Drilling yesterday saw its market value jump by over £6m on its first day of trading on the main list of the London Stock Exchange, as investors snapped up the stock.

The firm listed at 61.5p a share but rose over the course of the day to close at 66p, valuing the group at £88.83m.

Capital Drilling said it had raised gross proceeds of £13.6m via the placing of 22.1m new shares in the company, equivalent to 16.4 per cent of the 134.6m shares in issue following admission. Existing shareholders also sold a total of 11.7m shares, in order to increase the free float level to the LSE’s minimum of 25 per cent of the group’s equity.

The successful listing comes alongside a tentative revival in the new listings market, after companies hoping to join the LSE experienced a flurry of difficulties earlier in the year. Back in February, budget fashion retailer New Look was forced to postpone its much larger float, which was expected to raise £650m, due to muted demand from investors.

But recent success stories include Indian power giant Essar Energy, which is expected to join the elite FTSE 100 group of companies at the LSE’s reshuffle tomorrow.

Capital Drilling chief executive Brian Rudd said the group’s flotation was a “great result in challenging markets”.


ACTING as sponsor, financial adviser and broker to Capital Drilling on the placing was Liberum Capital, set up in 2007 by Shane Le Provost, the former chief executive of Collins Stewart.

Liberum has grown rapidly since then, growing from 40 to nearly 140 employees in under three years and adding an office in New York.

It now acts as broker to 23 companies, including platinum miner Aquarius Platinum, oil explorer New Britain Palm Oil and PureCircle, which supplies low-calorie sweeteners to the food and beverage industry.

Leading the team on the Capital Drilling listing – the first time Liberum has advised on a full list initial public offering in its three-year history – was senior corporate financier Clayton Bush, who joined the firm in June 2008 from the corporate finance department at Canaccord Adams.

Bush also advised on the admission of iron ore explorer London Mining to trading on the Alternative Investment Market (Aim) last year, raising £70m in an extraordinarily tough market for new listings.

Bush has also worked at Credit Lyonnais Securities, Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein and PwC, advising on a broad range of sectors including mining, oil and gas, technology, media, financials and renewables.