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Watkin Jones plc (WJG)

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Wednesday 23 March, 2016

Watkin Jones plc

First Day of Dealings on AIM

RNS Number : 9642S
Watkin Jones plc
23 March 2016
 

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 OF AMERICA, CANADA, JAPAN, THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA, AUSTRALIA OR TRANSMITTED, DISTRIBUTED TO, OR SENT BY, ANY NATIONAL OR RESIDENT OR CITIZEN OF ANY SUCH COUNTRIES OR ANY OTHER JURISDICTION IN WHICH SUCH RELEASE, PUBLICATION OR DISTRIBUTION MAY CONTRAVENE LOCAL SECURITIES LAWS OR REGULATIONS.

 

This announcement does not constitute or form part of an offer to sell or issue or a solicitation of an offer to subscribe for or buy any securities nor should it be relied upon in connection with any contract or commitment whatsoever.  Investors should not purchase or subscribe for any transferable securities referred to in this announcement except on the basis of the information in the admission document (the "Admission Document") published by Watkin Jones plc in connection with the proposed admission of its ordinary shares of £0.01 each ("Ordinary Shares") to trading on AIM, a market operated by London Stock Exchange plc ("Admission").  Copies of the Admission Document will be available at the registered office of the Company, subject to applicable securities laws or regulations.

 

For immediate release

23 March 2016

 

 

 

Watkin Jones plc

 

First Day of Dealings on AIM

 

Watkin Jones plc ("Watkin Jones" or the "Company"), a leading UK developer and constructor of multi occupancy property assets, with a focus on the student accommodation sector, is pleased to announce the commencement at 08.00 a.m. today of dealings in its Ordinary Shares on AIM, a market operated by the London Stock Exchange plc.  Zeus Capital acted as nominated adviser, joint bookrunner and joint broker to the Company with Peel Hunt as joint bookrunner and joint broker.  The Company's ticker is WJG.

 

The Company, together with Zeus Capital and Peel Hunt, successfully raised £131.3 million (before expenses) by placing 131.3 million existing and new ordinary shares with investors at a placing price of 100 pence per share (the "Placing").  Watkin Jones' market capitalisation on admission, based on the placing price, is £255 million.  The admission to AIM will provide a platform for the Company and its subsidiaries (the "Group") to execute its growth plans; raise the profile and enhance the reputation of the Group; incentivise the management team and wider employee base; and allow incumbent shareholders to realise a proportion of value held whilst retaining significant shareholdings to benefit from future upside.

 

Mark Watkin Jones, Chief Executive Officer of Watkin Jones plc, said: "The strong reception that the Company has received from investors has been very encouraging and we are delighted with the success of our admission to AIM, which is a significant milestone in the evolution of our business.  The Board joins me in welcoming all of our new shareholders.

 

"We now look forward to implementing our strategy and leveraging our position as a leader in the UK student accommodation development market as well as expanding our business further into the private rented sector."

 

The Company intends to announce a pre close trading statement for the six month period ending 31 March 2016 on 7 April 2016.

 

To access the Company's admission document, please visit the Key Corporate Documents page at www.watkinjonesplc.com.

 

For further information:

Watkin Jones plc


Mark Watkin Jones, Chief Executive Officer

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7466 5000

Philip Byrom, Chief Financial Officer

www.watkinjonesplc.com


 

Zeus Capital Limited

(Nominated Adviser, Joint Bookrunner & Joint Broker)


Corporate Finance


Dan Bate / Nick Cowles / Jamie Peel

Tel: +44 (0) 161 831 1512

Corporate Broking

Tel: +44 (0) 20 3829 5000

Dominic King / Benjamin Robertson

www.zeuscapital.co.uk



Peel Hunt LLP

(Joint Bookrunner & Joint Broker)


Corporate


Mike Bell / Matthew Brooke-Hitching

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7418 8900

ECM Syndicate

www.peelhunt.com

Al Rae / Sohail Akbar


 

Media enquiries:

Buchanan


Henry Harrison-Topham / Richard Oldworth / Helen Chan

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7466 5000

[email protected]

www.buchanan.uk.com

 

 

 

 

 

Notes to Editors

 

Watkin Jones is a leading UK developer and constructor of multi occupancy property assets, with a focus on the student accommodation sector. The Group has strong relationships with institutional investors, and a good reputation for successful, on-time-delivery of high quality developments. Since 1999, Watkin Jones has delivered over 28,000 student beds across 88 sites, making it a key player and leader in the UK purpose built student accommodation market. In addition, Watkin Jones has been responsible for over 50 residential developments, ranging from starter homes to executive housing and apartments.

 

The Group's competitive advantage lies in its business model, which enables it to offer an end to end solution for investors, delivered entirely in-house with minimal reliance on third parties, across the entire life cycle of an asset. Key components of the business model are:

 

·      Site identification - extensive experience of site identification and acquisition facilitates high quality sites being acquired;

·      Planning consents - in depth knowledge and experience of the planning consent process specific to this type of asset facilitates high success rates on planning applications;

·      In-house construction and delivery - in-house construction expertise, management and delivery limits reliance on third parties and, together with favourable contractual relationships with key suppliers, enhances control of cost;

·      Funding structure - forward sale model reduces risk for Watkin Jones and provides security and visibility of the asset pipeline for investors. The Group has strong relationships with blue chip investors, including a number that are repeat investors in Watkin Jones developments; and

·      Asset management - dedicated property management division provides a continued service solution to investors post development completion and completes the 'end to end' business model.

 

Directors

 

Grenville Turner - Independent Non-Executive Chairman (Aged 58)

Grenville has almost 40 years of experience in retail banking and the property sector.  Past directorships have included Rightmove.co.uk, St James's Place Plc, Sainsbury's Bank Plc and Realogy, the largest Realtor in the US.  Currently, Grenville is Non-Executive Chairman of Countrywide plc (retiring on 27 April 2016), Chairman of ThreeSixty Developments (formerly Knightsbridge Student Housing Limited) and Bellpenny Limited, and Chairman of Titlestone Limited.  He is also a Non-Executive Director of the Zoopla Property Group Plc, The Department for Communities and Local Government and the English National Ballet.  Grenville is a qualified Chartered Banker and holds an MBA from Cranfield School of Management.

 

Mark Watkin Jones - Chief Executive Officer (Aged 47)

Being the ninth generation of the Watkin Jones family, Mark has been involved, in a full time capacity, in the business since 1990, and was appointed Managing Director in 2003.  Mark graduated from Portsmouth Polytechnic with a degree in Construction Management in 1990.  Mark has been instrumental in the growth of the Group and is responsible for introducing the structures and procedures into the business to allow it to operate as it does today.  Mark has been recognised for his strong leadership and people development skills by Construction Excellence and has also received an Ernst & Young, Real Estate Entrepreneur of the Year award (2008).

 

Philip Byrom - Chief Financial Officer (Aged 54)

Philip has been the Chief Financial Officer of the Group since joining the business in 2002, and has led a number of complex financing arrangements as well as material property and corporate transactions for the Group in addition to his core role as CFO.  Philip qualified as a chartered accountant and progressed rapidly to senior manager, a role in which he had responsibility for several public company clients.  Philip moved into industry in 1995 and has gained broad experience through a number of group financial controller and divisional finance director roles, including a role as divisional finance director for pharmaceutical technologies at BWI plc.  In addition to his chartered accountancy qualification, Philip holds an honours degree in civil engineering from Manchester University.

 

Simon Laffin - Independent Non-Executive Director (Aged 56)

Simon Laffin is Chairman of Flybe Group plc and Assura plc.  Previously he has been a non-executive director at Quintain Estates and Development, Aegis Group, Mitchells & Butlers and Northern Rock (as part of the rescue team).  He has also served as Chairman of Hozelock Group and as an adviser to CVC Capital Partners.  Prior to this, he was Group Finance & Property Director of Safeway plc.

 

FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

All statements other than statements of historical fact included in this Announcement, including, without limitation, those regarding the Group's financial position, business strategy, plans and objectives of management for future operations or statements relating to expectations in relation to shareholder returns, dividends or any statements preceded by, followed by or that include the words "targets", "estimates", "envisages", "believes", "expects", "aims", "intends", "plans", "will", "may", "anticipates", "would", "could" or similar expressions or the negative thereof, are forward looking statements.

 

Such forward looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other important factors beyond the Group's control that could cause the actual results and performance to be materially different from future results and performance expressed or implied by such forward looking statements. Such forward looking statements are based on numerous assumptions regarding the Group's present and future business strategies and the environment in which the Group will operate in the future.

 

These forward looking statements speak only as of the date of this Announcement. The Company expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking to disseminate any updates or revisions to any forward looking statements contained herein to reflect any change in the Company's expectations with regard thereto, any new information or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statements are based, unless required to do so by law or any appropriate regulatory authority.


This information is provided by RNS
The company news service from the London Stock Exchange
 
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