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Equiniti Group PLC (EQN)

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Monday 08 March, 2021

Equiniti Group PLC

Divestment of EQi Direct-To-Consumer Book

RNS Number : 4016R
Equiniti Group PLC
08 March 2021
 

 

8 March 2021

 

EQUINITI GROUP PLC

 

DIVESTMENT OF EQi DIRECT-TO-CONSUMER BOOK

 

Equiniti Group Plc ("EQ" or "the Group"), an international technology-led services and payments specialist, is pleased to confirm it has reached an agreement to sell the EQi direct-to-consumer customer business of Equiniti Financial Services Limited ("the D2C business" or "the business"),  to interactive investor (ii), for a consideration of up to £48.5m.

The sale to ii, one of the UK's largest direct-to-consumer share trading platforms, is anticipated to complete during the summer of 2021, following a customer migration exercise. The total consideration payable is up to £48.5m comprising £47.5m payable in cash at completion, and up to a further £1m contingent on the timing of migrating all customers to the ii platform.  The net proceeds will be used to reduce the Group's net debt.

At 31 December 2020, the D2C business had assets under administration of £5.3bn, including cash balances of £0.6bn.  For full year 2020, the business generated revenue of £14.5m and EBITDA* of £3.3m.  EQ will report an accounting profit on the transaction of £13.0m and pay £2.1m of corporation tax in the year of disposal, after utilising available brought forward tax losses in the Group. Group interest costs will reduce by £0.4m following completion of the transaction as debt is reduced.

Cheryl Millington, EQ's Chief Executive, said "This sale demonstrates further progress in focusing our activities and strengthening the Group's balance sheet, reducing our leverage. This takes our total consideration from divestment of non-core assets to £63.8m and positions the Group well for the future as we emerge from the COVID-19 crisis."

Richard Wilson, ii's Chief Executive said: "I am delighted to announce the acquisition of EQ's retail investment business and look forward to welcoming EQi customers to the ii platform, where we hope they will benefit from our no-nonsense fixed fee pricing, commitment to service and continuously developing technology and content.

"This marks another important milestone in the ii story, having brought together five established investment businesses within the last four years to create a single market-leading platform that offers the retail investor real choice and value."

 

* Full year 2021 EBITDA equates to £6.2m including the impact of stranded costs.  Operating profit after depreciation and amortisation including the impact of stranded costs is £3.9m.

For the purposes of completing the disclosure under the requirements of UK Listing Rule 10.4.1 for a Class 2 transaction, EBITDA for the year ended 31 December 2019 was £3.0m.

This announcement contains inside information which is disclosed in accordance with the Market Abuse Regulation. 

 

Equiniti was advised by Stephens and DWF, and Interactive Investor was advised by Taylor Wessing on the transaction.

 

 

For further information please contact:  

 

Analyst/Investor enquiries:

EQ  

Cheryl Millington, Chief Executive 

John Stier, Chief Financial Officer  
Frances Gibbons, Head of Investor Relations

 

 

+44 (0) 7484 072 471  

Media enquiries:

Tulchan Communications LLP  

Martin Robinson

Olivia Peters

 

+44 (0) 20 7353 4200

 

 

 

Forward-looking statements

This announcement contains forward-looking statements regarding EQ. These forward-looking statements are based on current information and expectations, and are subject to risks and uncertainties, including market conditions and other factors outside of EQ's control. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on the forward-looking statements contained herein, which speak only as of the date hereof. EQ undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement contained in this release, whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise, except as may be required by law.  

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