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Sprue Aegis plc (FA.)

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Wednesday 30 April, 2014

Sprue Aegis plc

Placing, Admission & First Day of Dealings on AIM

RNS Number : 8386F
Sprue Aegis plc
30 April 2014
 



THIS ANNOUNCEMENT AND THE INFORMATION CONTAINED HEREIN IS RESTRICTED AND IS NOT FOR RELEASE, PUBLICATION OR DISTRIBUTION, IN WHOLE OR IN PART, DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY, IN, INTO OR FROM THE UNITED STATES, AUSTRALIA, CANADA, JAPAN, THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA, THE REPUBLIC OF IRELAND OR ANY OTHER JURISDICTION IN WHICH SUCH RELEASE, PUBLICATION OR DISTRIBUTION WOULD BE UNLAWFUL. 

 

 

30 April 2014

Sprue Aegis plc

("Sprue", the "Group", or the "Company")

 

Successful placing to raise £8.0 million,

Sale by directors of approximately 2 million shares,

Admission to trading

and

First Day of Dealings on AIM

 

Sprue Aegis plc (LSE AIM: SPRP), one of Europe's leading home safety products suppliers, is pleased to announce the admission of its shares to trading on the AIM Market of the London Stock Exchange at 08:00 today. Dealings in the Company's Ordinary Shares will commence under the ticker SPRP. 

 

Summary

 

·      The Company has raised £8.0 million before expenses pursuant to the placing of 4,000,000 new ordinary shares (the "Placing") and announces the sale by certain directors of 1,980,117 existing ordinary shares.

 

·      The total number of ordinary shares in issue is 45,245,373, giving the Company a market capitalisation at Admission of approximately £90.5 million, based on the placing price of 200 pence per share.

 

·      Funds receivable by the Company from the Placing, of approximately £7.2 million (net of expenses) will be used to provide additional working capital to support sales growth across Sprue's markets, particularly in France, and to fund product development.

 

·      Westhouse Securities acted as Nominated Adviser and Broker to the Company.

 

Commenting on the Placing and Admission to AIM, Graham Whitworth, Executive Chairman and Group CEO of Sprue said:

"I am very pleased that the Company's shares have today been admitted to trading on AIM.  The Company is well placed to capitalise on the expected significant opportunity in France, whilst continuing our commitment to innovation and development of new products. The response from existing and new investors to the Placing was very encouraging and the Board looks forward to growing the business further on AIM."

 

Background on the Company

 

Sprue was formed in 1998 as a start-up with the ambition to build a world-class consumer safety products business focused on the smoke alarm market. Sprue's founders believed that they could develop innovative products that would change consumers' perception of smoke alarms by providing technologically advanced and aesthetically pleasing products with improved ease of use, greater consumer focus and that consumers would be less likely to deliberately deactivate due to false alarms.

 

With a focus on innovation and high quality manufacture, Sprue has grown rapidly since 1998 to become one of Europe's leading home safety products suppliers, extending its product range from smoke alarms into CO alarms and related accessories, with total sales in the year ended 31 December 2013 of £48.4 million (6.8 million units) of which:

·      55 per cent. were sold in the UK (£26.7 million);

·      39 per cent. were sold in Continental Europe (including relatively small exports into the rest of the world) (£18.6 million); and

·      6 per cent. were sold by Pace Sensors (£3.1 million).

 

Since 2005, the Company has grown rapidly and was named in the Sunday Times Virgin Fast Track 100 in each year from 2008 to 2012. Sprue markets and distributes products under its own distinctive brands (FireAngel, AngelEye and Pace Sensors) ('Sprue's Branded Products') and has the exclusive rights to distribute the brands of BRK Brands (First Alert, BRK and Dicon) throughout Europe.

 

Sprue markets its products into five key market segments: Continental Europe, UK Retail, UK F&RS, UK Utilities & Leisure, and UK Trade. Sprue has leading market positions in four of its five key segments, including estimated market shares of approximately 90 per cent. in the UK F&RS segment and 65 per cent. in the UK Retail segment.

 

The movement towards increased smoke and CO safety legislation is evident in certain European jurisdictions (for example in France, Germany (in certain states) and the UK). The Directors believe that this will increase the overall size of the smoke and CO alarm market in Europe and, furthermore, that Sprue is well positioned to take advantage of this opportunity.

 

Sprue continues to build on its market leading positions in the home safety products markets that it serves by providing innovative, cost competitive, technologically advanced and aesthetically pleasing products. Continuous investment in product development and the expansion of its 'technology bookshelf', including its Thermoptek smoke sensing technology, CO sensing capabilities, its sealed battery for product life solution and proprietary wireless technology, which provides its products with wireless internet connectivity, have helped position the Group as one of Europe's leading home safety products suppliers with a portfolio of well recognised brands. Sprue's proprietary technology is a major part of its competitive advantage.

 

The net proceeds of the Placing receivable by the Company, of approximately £7.2 million, will be used to provide additional working capital to support sales growth across Sprue's markets, particularly in France, and to fund product development. With a 30 per cent. increase in sales in the year ended 31 December 2013, the Company required additional working capital of £3.2 million at the end of the year.

 

The Company is seeking to move from ISDX to AIM in order to take advantage of AIM's higher profile, broader investor base, greater liquidity and greater access to institutional investors for the Placing and any future potential fundraising.

 

For further information please contact:

 

Sprue Aegis PLC

Tel: 02476 323 232

Graham Whitworth, Executive Chairman & Group CEO

John Gahan, Group Finance Director

 

 

Westhouse Securities

Tel: 020 7601 6100

Tom Griffiths

Paul Gillam

 

IMPORTANT NOTICE

 

Defined terms used in this announcement have the same meaning as set out in the Company's admission document dated 24 April 2014.

 

This announcement does not constitute an admission document relating to the Company and does not constitute, or form part of, any offer or invitation to sell or issue, or any solicitation of any offer to purchase or subscribe for, any shares in the Company in any jurisdiction nor shall it, or any part of it, or the fact of its distribution, form the basis of, or be relied on in connection with or act as any inducement to enter into, any contract therefore.

 

Recipients of this announcement who are considering acquiring shares following publication of the admission document are reminded that any such acquisition must be made only on the basis of the information contained in the admission document which may be different from the information contained in this announcement.

 

Westhouse Securities Limited, which is authorised and regulated in the United Kingdom by the Financial Conduct Authority, is acting exclusively for the Company as Nominated Adviser and broker and for no-one else in relation to the placing and admission. Westhouse Securities Limited will not regard any other person (whether or not in receipt of this press release) as its client in relation to the placing and admission and will not be responsible to anyone other than the Company for providing the protections afforded to clients of Westhouse Securities Limited or for providing any advice in relation to the flotation.

 

The shares have not been, nor will they be, registered under the US Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the "Securities Act") or with any securities regulatory authority of any state or other jurisdiction of the United States or under the applicable securities laws of Australia, Canada, Japan, or South Africa.  Subject to certain exceptions, the shares may not be offered or sold in the United States, Australia, Canada, Japan or South Africa or to or for the account or benefit of any national, resident or citizen of Australia, Canada, Japan or South Africa or any person located in the United States. The offer of the shares and the distribution of this announcement in other jurisdictions may be restricted by law and the persons into whose possession this announcement comes should inform themselves about, and observe, any such restrictions.

 

This announcement may include "forward-looking statements".  All statements other than statements of historical facts included in this announcement, including, without limitation, those regarding the Company's financial position, business strategy, plans and objectives of management for future operations (including development plans and objectives relating to the Company's evaluation of the potential acquisition) are forward-looking statements.

 

Forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties and accordingly the Company's actual future financial results and operational performance may differ materially from the results and performance expressed in, or implied by, the statements.  These factors include but are not limited to those described in the formal admission document.

 


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