Irish forecourt operator Applegreen has revealed in new documents posted to the London Stock Exchange that its flotation later this month will value the group at €299.7m (£218.8m) after winning backing from a number of City funds.
The company secured €70m (£51.1m) from AXA Framlington and Fidelity Investments, which will own 6.7% and 3.2% of the issued shares respectively. Current owner B&J Holdings, controlled by Joe Barrett and Bob Etchingham, will hold a 69.4% stake after the IPO.
Applegreen, which has 165 sites in the UK and Ireland, with a couple in the US, appointed Shore Capital and Goodbody Stockbrokers to raise the cash and will have a dual listing in Ireland and on AIM in the UK.
The group is planning to expand its presence in the UK convenience and food-to-go market and will use the proceeds raised to accelerate its new site opening programme.
In the year to 31 December 2014, the group had revenues of €937.3m and EBITDA of €23.4m.
The Heart of England Co-operative Society said it has put in a “robust” trading performance in an increasingly tough retail environment in the past year with gross sales of £94.5m. The society, which is based in the West Midlands and trades across Warwickshire, Leicestershire and Northamptonshire, added its profits equated to 4.5% of total turnover in 2014 – although it did not spell out the actual figures.
Despite taking a hit from internet sales, the travel division managed to record an increase of 8.3% in like-for-like sales over the year, while the funeral division reported a jump of 1.8%. CEO Ali Kurji said discount retailers had changed the face of grocery shopping over the past five years with the food division one of the most challenging areas of the business. However, the group did not release any figures for that side of the business but added it was “forging ahead” with capital investments to stay competitive in a tough market place.
Capital investments across the society’s food and funeral divisions topped £3.6m in the year, with the retailer’s net worth now standing at more than £37.2m. Membership grew by 3% in 2014, with the total membership now standing at 255,342.
Kurji said: “The society achieved a trading profit despite one of the most challenging years in recent history – a year which saw growing competition from major multiples in their bid to fight the latest trend of discount stores which are increasingly seizing market share.”
Wine producer Gusbourne has raised £2.5m from a placing to develop the business and the brand. The company announced in May that it was seeking £3.6m from the open offer, meaning it has brought in more than 70% of its target. CEO Ben Walgate said: “”We are appreciative of the continued support from the significant number of Gusbourne shareholders that have taken part in this open offer. The proceeds will assist in the further development of the Gusbourne business and the award-winning Gusbourne brand.”
Finsbury Food Group (FIF) has completed the deal to buy Johnstone’s Just Desserts from administration. The specialty bakery manufacturer of cake, bread and morning goods for the retail and foodservice channels announced the acquisition on 6 May. Johnstone’s went into administration on 25 March with joint administrators from FRP Advisory Tom MacLennan and Geoff Rowley continuing to trade the business while searching for a buyer. “This is a great result both in safeguarding the business, and importantly for securing all 150 jobs in food manufacturing,” MacLennan said. “We wish the new owners Finsbury Food Group every success with their expansion plans.”
Yesterday in the City
Some of the good work done following the £70m takeover of Naked Wines in April was undone today as shares fell back 4.3% to 421p after a 22.5% drop in pre-tax profits at Majestic Wine (MJW). The stock had climbed by more than 20% in the past few months following the deal. Revenues were up 2.3% to £284.5m during the year to 30 March, with like-for-like sales up 1.9%, but new CEO and former Naked boss Rowan Gormley said profits would be suppressed in the short term as he embarks on a three-year turnaround of the business. He added: “Whilst my review of the business is ongoing it is obvious that we need to make investments to reinvigorate Majestic Wine.”
The majority of grocery and fmcg stocks were down yesterday, including Real Good Food (RGD), which fell 5.1% to 47p, McBride (MCB), which declined 3.6% to 100.8p, and Imperial Tobacco Group (IMT), which slipped 2.9% to 3,175p.
The FTSE 100 also tumbled 74.4 points (1.1%) to 6,710.5 – a three-month low – as Greece failed yet again to strike a deal with its creditors and moved closer to defaulting on its debts.
One of the few risers of the day was discount chain Poundland (PLND) ahead of its full-year results later in the week. The retailer was up 3% to 308.3p as sales are expected to pass the £1bn mark for the year. The stock had last week fallen to below its 2014 flotation price of 300p as house broker Shore Capital lowered its 2015-16 profit forecast.
Conviviality Retail (CVR) also climbed 3.3% to 154.5p as it launched a new ad campaign matching the price of branded products to Aldi own-label items.