Smoke alarm firm Sprue Aegis plans £8m fundraising to support AIM move

COVENTRY-based smoke alarm supplier Sprue Aegis has revealed further details about an £8m fundraising ahead of its proposed move to the Alternative Investment Market (AIM).

The company, one of Europe’s leading home safety products suppliers, intends to raise approximately the funding by way of a new share placing. The fundraising will be used to provide additional working capital to support sales growth across its markets, particularly in France and to fund product development.

The net proceeds of the placing receivable by the company will be approximately £7.2m. The firm said that with a 30% increase in sales in the year ended December 31, 2013, it needed additional working capital of £3.2m.

Sprue is seeking to move from ISDX in order to take advantage of AIM’s higher profile, broader investor base, greater liquidity and greater access to institutional investors for the placing and any future potential fundraising.

Dealings in the new shares are expected to begin on April 30, 2014. Westhouse Securities is acting as nominated adviser and broker to the company.

Graham Whitworth, executive chairman and group CEO of Sprue, said: “The company has grown significantly in the last few years, and the board believes now is the right time both to raise new money for the company and to move its listing to AIM.

“The company’s increasing sales to the retail sector have increased our working capital requirement and the proceeds of the placing are important to ensure the company is well placed to capitalise on the expected significant opportunity in France, whilst continuing our commitment to innovation and development of new products.

“The board believes that the placing and transfer of listing to AIM will increase the company’s profile, broaden the investor base, increase liquidity and provider greater access to capital for any future potential fundraising.”

He said the response from existing and new investors to the placing had been very encouraging and the board was pleased this had allowed blue-chip institutional investors to acquire “meaningful stakes” in the business.

The anticipated market capitalisation of the business on admission to AIM is expected to be £90.5m. The percentage of AIM Securities not in public hands at the time of admission is 39.6%.