Ascential set to float on London Stock Exchange

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Media company and i2i Events owner, Ascential has announced plans to raise £200m in an initial public offering (IPO) in London.

The company, which changed its name from Top Right Group last month, is jointly owned by the Guardian Media Company and Apax Partners.

Ascential, today (14 January) said it intends to apply for admission of its ordinary shares to the premium listing segment of the Official List of the UK Listing Authority (UKLA) and to trading on the main market of the London Stock Exchange.

Duncan Painter, chief executive officer of Ascential said: “As a team we have created an industry leading company for informing and connecting business professionals across our exhibitions, festivals and information services products. These essential products enable our customers to win business and operate more efficiently. By continuously focusing on supporting our customers’ growth and success, we have reinforced the market leadership positions held by the majority of our products."

Operating through two reportable segments, Ascential organises large-scale exhibitions, congresses and festivals (44 per cent of FY14 Group revenue), with key products including Cannes Lions, Spring/Autumn Fair, Money20/20 (pictured) and Bett.

The second, Information Services (56 per cent of FY14 Group revenue), provides industry-specific business intelligence and forecasting via subscription products, with the key product being WGSN.

“I am very grateful to our entire team who have helped build our portfolio of market-leading products. The IPO is an exciting and logical step as we seek to continue our momentum. I am both confident and excited about our future prospects as we progress towards becoming a listed company," Painter added.

The group serves customers in more than 150 countries, with its headquarters in London, and offices in 14 countries and more than1,500 full-time equivalent employees. In 2014, Ascential generated revenue of £312.7m and Adjusted EBITDA of £85.3m.

Ahead of the IPO, Ascential has appointed Scott Forbes to act as independent chairman of the board of directors.

“The business has gone from strength-to-strength in recent years, transformed by an experienced management team with a proven track record of delivering consistent growth, high margins and business improvement. I look forward to contributing to the next, exciting stage of Ascential’s development as a listed company,” said Forbes.


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