Financial News

  • 15 May 2014, 15:23

Manufacturer Volution Unveils £400m Flotation

A British manufacturer which was hailed by David Cameron for relocating scores of overseas jobs back to the UK will unveil plans next week for a £400m stock market listing.

Sky News understands that†Volution Group, a manufacturer of ventilation products, has pencilled in an announcement of an intention to float on May 22.

Sources said on Thursday that Volution had lined up a heavyweight cast of British industrialists to join the company's board as it prepares to float.

The board will include Peter Hill, the former chief executive of electronics group Laird and a current non-executive director of the Royal Air Force, who will become chairman; Tony Reading, another former Laird executive; and Paul Hollingworth, a director of Electrocomponents who was the finance director of Thomas Cook.

Towerbrook Capital Partners, the private equity firm which owns Volution, is expected to seek to raise roughly £80m from the initial public offering, which is being overseen by the investment banks Canaccord Genuity and Liberum.

The listing is expected to value the company at about £400m, sources said.

Vent-Axia, a British-based subsidiary of Volution, has relocated some of its production capability from China to Sussex in recent months, and was one of several companies cited by the Prime Minister in January as a participant in the growing trend of 'reshoring'.

In a speech at the World Economic Forum in the Swiss ski resort of Davos in January, Mr Cameron said Britain needed to seize the opportunity to persuade companies to relocate manufacturing and production jobs to the UK.

"To win these jobs we need to understand what is driving these changes. Part of the story is about rising costs in the emerging markets, a natural consequence of these economies developing and their people becoming wealthier.

"At the same time, there are a number of factors pulling companies back home. Some companies are choosing to locate production nearer to their consumer markets in the West.

"I want Britain to seize these opportunities. I think there is a chance for Britain to become the Re-Shore Nation," he said.

Towerbrook, which is best-known for its former ownership of Jimmy Choo, the upmarket shoe-maker, declined to comment on its plans to list Volution.

Insiders told Sky News in January that the buyout firm had decided to press the button on a flotation because of the growth potential arising from tighter building regulations, which are forcing landlords to upgrade ventilation equipment.

The flotation will be unveiled as the FTSE-100 index hovers around a 14-year high and will be one of the largest manufacturing IPOs announced in London for months.

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