31 July 2015

Marland group moves into broker

01/04/2008 Robert Tyerman

Former Tory treasurer Lord Marland, Carphone Warehouse co-founder David Ross and others plan to put £5 million into diversified stockbroker WH Ireland.

The powerful consortium, whose other members include investment banker Rupert Lowe, a former chairman of Southampton Leisure and director of the London International Financial Futures Exchange, has already paid £1.7 million at 100p a share for 9.9 per cent of Manchester-based WH Ireland. This move, which could have significant implications for the future of the company, is the first step in a process that the consortium hopes will bring it 26 per cent of an enlarged WH Ireland.

It follows one full takeover offer and another partial bid, both of which the company rejected. Under the purchase agreement, Lowe is to become non-executive chairman of the company, replacing former Conservative minister Sir David Trippier, and the entrepreneurial Marland, a financier and previously a leading light at Lloyd’s insurance broker Jardine Lloyd Thompson, joins the board as a non-executive director.

WH Ireland’s two largest shareholders, chief executive Laurie Beevers and managing director David Youngman, are selling parts of their holdings for £877,341 and £438,670 respectively. Subject to regulatory approval by the end of June, the consortium will buy another £1 million worth of shares, including £372,872 from Beevers, Youngman and associates, and then buy five million new shares at 100p each, taking its stake to 26 per cent.

The declared strategy is to expand WH Ireland, which made a flat £3.8 million last year on turnover up 41 per cent to £42.7 million through diversification, with possible acquisitions, following a recent £300,000 wealth management takeover, and partnerships. Beevers, who helped steer the company into corporate finance for junior resource companies from Australia and elsewhere, hopes the deal will help erase the company's 'provincial image' and enthuses that Marland and Lowe ‘are committed to supporting and developing the diversified strategy we have successfully pursued since our AIM admission in 2000’.

The shares, up 3.5p this morning to 111p and valuing WH Ireland at £18.9 million, are, in fact, 4p below the original AIM admission price, having fallen from 194p last October. Investors will hope the new backing and board members will speed recovery.

Growth Company Investor is the UK’s leading authority on small-cap and AIM companies. You can gain immediate access to all the recent share recommendations with no obligation, with a free 30-day trial. Click here to join today.

Superb investment toolkit for private investors

SharePad is the new web-based service from ShareScope. Easier to use and more powerful. Perfect for tablets, Macs and Windows PC. Covers ALL your investment requirements.

Growth Company Investor: free trial

Since 2008, our share tips outperformed the benchmark by 281%. Take a free trial and get access to our recommendations today. Start free trial now.

Directors' Pay on AIM 2015

The most comprehensive review of AIM directors' pay available, and this year includes a record sample of 1000+ AIM-quoted companies. The full report is available to order for £385 + VAT. Click here for more info

 

Latest small-cap and growth company news

Daily coverage of small-cap company stocks on London's junior markets AIM and PLUS, breaking news, stock research and latest share price information for investors. Full sector coverage with all the latest news on smaller listed companies, updated several times a day with financial reports, trading statements and links to further web resources.

Popular News

Latest News

Quartix has enjoyed a strong start to life as a public company

Quartix focuses on US growth as earnings and profits soar 29/07/2015

Andy Walters, chief executive of telematics firm Quartix, has confirmed that the company will continue to focus on the fast-growth US market in the coming year as it reported improved earnings and profits. 

Petards Group shares nudge upwards as company hits targets  28/07/2015

Shares in Petards Group, a supplier of security technology, saw its shares rise by 2 per cent this morning as it confirmed that it is likely to hit its targets for the half-year to the end of June as a result of a switch to higher-margin products.

Earthport announces plan for Asian expansion  28/07/2015

AIM-listed financial technology firm Earthport confirmed this morning that it is to launch a new Asian headquarters in Singapore, with the aim of capitalising on the growth of South East Asia. 

Vast Resources sets its sights on Romania following fundraising  27/07/2015

AIM-listed resources company Vast Resources intends to use the £1.26 million it has raised from investors for a combination of corporate expenses and to expand its Romanian operations. 

SPARK Ventures raises £17 million and teams up with Gresham House for future growth  27/07/2015

AIM-listed SPARK Ventures, a company that invests in early-stage technology and digital information businesses, has announced that it has raised £17 million via a placing of new shares and an asset swap.

Nektan expects to beat forecasts when full-year results are released in September  20/07/2015

Online gaming technology firm Nektan Plc expects that its full-year results to the end of June 2015 will show a loss of around £5.5 million, which the company claims is 'better than expected'. 

More News