Owners of British technology company Edwards plot stock market offering

BRITISH vacuum technology producer Edwards Group is plotting a London listing to raise at least £375m.

The firm provides chipmakers with vacuum technology needed to make microprocessors, used in products such as Apple’s iPad.

Its private equity backers own a combined 90 per cent stake of the firm, which was valued at £1.5bn last year.

CCMP Capital and Unitas Capital, the buyout vehicles once operated by US investment bank JP Morgan, own 45 per cent of the company each, whilst management retains the rest.

The owners must offer at least 25 per cent of the company in order to list in London.

Edwards did not give any detail of the expected size of its offering, although said it will not include any new shares.

It will announce price details over the coming weeks, and is expected to list before the end of next month.

The former chief financial officer of drinks giant Diageo, Nick Rose, will step in as chairman of the firm following the listing.

Founded in 1919, the West-Sussex based firm made pre-tax profits of £130m on revenues of £641m.

Edwards chief executive Matthew Taylor said: “This is a very exciting time for Edwards as we work towards a potential IPO and listing.

“The group has been transformed over the last four years, developing into a world class operation.”

JONATHAN WILCOX

JP MORGAN CAZENOVE

JONATHAN Wilcox is leading the JP Morgan Cazenove advisory team on the Edwards Group initial public offering (IPO).

The US investment bank is acting as joint lead adviser together with Swiss lender UBS on the listing.

As head of UK equity capital markets at JP Morgan, Wilcox has led many of the bank’s highest profile deals in recent years, including rights issues for Standard Chartered and Rio Tinto.

He also handled the IPO for Jupiter Asset Management last year.

The team from JP Morgan also includes head of UK corporate Ed Byers, who is responsible for some of the firm’s most important brokerage relationships.

Managing director in the bank’s industrial team Andrew Truscott and UK corporate finance executive director Chris Nicholls are also advising.

Swiss bank UBS’ team is led by Christopher Smith and Adrian Lewis.

As vice president of investments for the bank, Smith has recently advised US media firm Perform on its London listing. He also worked on the advisory for a £242m share raising by British supermarket chain Sainsbury’s.

Morgan Stanley; led by Scott Matlock and Ben Grindley, and Deutsche Bank; led by Lorcan O’Shea and Edward Sankey, are also advising on the listing.