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Softcat execs set to become overnight millionaires

IPO values reseller biz at £472.3m

Stock market. Pic: Alberto Carrasco Casado

Updated Softcat has floated on the London Stock Exchange with shares priced at 240 pence each, valuing the Marlow-based tech reseller at £472.3m.

The first day of trading is expected to be 18 November and the firm was asked to open the LSE trading floor on that day. In the meantime, shares are tradeable on a conditional basis and had settled around the 275 pence mark by 11am this morning.

In a statement issued this morning, Softcat CEO Martin Hellawell said the valuation “reflects the positive responses” from institutional investors.

“We are delighted with the outcome of the IPO process thus far and now looked forward to fully focussing on the running and future development of our business,” he said.

Softcat has hired a number of non-exec directors in the run up to the flotation and confirmed this morning that buy and build veteran Vin Murria has joined the board as an independent NED.

The IPO, perhaps one of the worst kept secrets in the industry, will see Softcat founder Peter Kelly walk away with £245.6m - the company previously told us he owned 52 per cent of the shares.

The other shares are divided between Hellawell (12 per cent), early stage investor John Nash (12 per cent), with the remainder split between current and former execs and around 175 staff.

The company previously confirmed that the group will not receive funds in the stock sell off, but the listing will give it access to capital markets to raise cash in the future to develop the organisation and maybe acquire.

Softcat, an unashamed reseller of software, hardware and tech services at a time when rivals are downplaying the resell element of their business, turned over £596.1m in fiscal ’15 ended July, up from £504.8m in the prior year, and netted a profit of £31.1m, up 13.8 per cent year-on-year.

Rivals will be watching developments very closely, and with a bunch of owner managers out there in the UK channel, no doubt there will be some copycat moves in the not-too-distant future. ®

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