IT 'Mounties' Ride Towards £300m Flotation
An IT services provider whose consultants are known as 'Mounties' is riding towards a stock market listing that is expected to value it at more than £300m.
Sky News understands that FDM Group, which is owned by Inflexion, a private equity group, is expected to announce its intention to float next month.
The listing will follow positive initial feedback about FDM from City investors, which came despite broader signs of indigestion from institutions overwhelmed by the deluge of company flotations this year.
FDM's army of IT consultants are trained at the company's own academies, which it believes differentiates it from its competitors.
Its key customers include British Airways, UBS and the UK Government, and it employs about 1,500 people.
Inflexion, which this year called off talks to buy an online training business founded by Jeremy Hunt, the Health Secretary, took FDM private in 2010 when it made an agreed offer for the then AIM-listed company.
Sources said on Tuesday that next month's flotation would take place on the main market, with Investec, the investment bank, lined up to lead the deal.
FDM describes itself as a global professional services firm, with fast-growing operations in Asia and the US.
Its IT consultants, nicknamed Mounties, are trained at significant expense to FDM and are then contracted out to blue-chip clients.
Under Inflexion's ownership, the company has grown annual profits from £5m to approximately £20m.
Its founder, Rod Flavell, continues to run FDM, and both his first and second wives have had executive roles with the business.
A source said that Inflexion had explored the sale of a substantial stake in FDM to a third party in recent months but had decided to pursue a flotation.
The market for initial public offerings (IPOs) has become choppier in recent weeks, with the fashion retailer Fat Face aborting its flotation and Saga pricing its share sale at the bottom of the range.
On Tuesday, Lloyds Banking Group announced the listing of its TSB subsidiary and confirmed that it would offer free shares to retail investors who hold onto their stock for at least a year.
FDM and Inflexion both declined to comment.