December 7, 2018 / 12:01 AM / 10 months ago

Investing platform AJ Bell to trade in London after $860 mln IPO

LONDON, Dec 7 (Reuters) - Britain’s AJ Bell IPO-AJH.L is set to trade on the London Stock Exchange on Friday, after an initial public offering (IPO) that valued the investment platform provider at up to 675 million pounds ($863 million).

Analysts said the firm, which has almost doubled its assets under administration to 46.1 billion pounds since 2014, could shrug off concerns about the economic outlook on its debut and buck a trend of lacklustre IPOs plaguing European bourses.

“It’s an excellent, cash generative business. Our Quest analysis shows the company should be valued at 100 million pounds above the top end of the current range,” said James Congdon, managing director at cashflow returns specialist Quest.

AJ Bell said in its prospectus that a downturn in the global and British economy, particularly in the wake of the country’s exit from the European Union, could have a negative impact because people would have less savings to invest in shares.

High profile IPOs of luxury car maker Aston Martin and crowd funding platform Funding Circle flopped in the first days of trading.

The price range for the AJ Bell offer of 1.54 to 1.66 pounds per ordinary share, announced on Nov. 27, would give the company a market capitalisation of between 626 million and 675 million pounds.

The final price was to be announced before the market open on Friday.

In the year ending September 2018, AJ Bell had an operating profit of 28 million pounds on revenue of 90 million pounds, and more than 750 employees.

The listing was led by Numis.

$1 = 0.7817 pounds Reporting by Dasha Afanasieva Editing by Edmund Blair

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