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Marketing move launches Scott Wilson flotation


SENIOR SCOTT Wilson directors will next week begin marketing the company to the City before the company floats on the Stock Market in March.

In up to six presentations a day they will explain to institutional investors that the flotation will give the consultancy a balance sheet to equal the strongest in the sector.

It is hoped that the initial public offering of 60% of the business will raise £70M. The business is valued by brokers at £110M.

The flotation share price is expected to be announced on 7 March, with dealing beginning on 15 March.

'We are intending to end up with a balance sheet which will put us first equal in our sector with Mouchel Parkman, ' said chairman Geoff French.

A third of the money raised will go into funding the company's pension schemes.

'Another £11M will pay out retired partners, £12M of the business debt will be paid off and £15M will go into strengthening the balance sheet, ' said fire detector Stephen Kimmet.

The remainder will help fund the company's growth strategy.

'With a stronger balance sheet we can consider acquisitions to consolidate growth and stay ahead of our peer group, ' said French.

The firm revealed last year that it had been considering a float to give it funds to expand so it could continue to compete with huge global consultancies (NCE 2 June 2005).

Scott Wilson's last audited turnover, for the year ending April 2005, was £163M with an operating profit of £7.8M, up 33% on the previous year.

It is the ninth largest consultancy firm according to NCE's 2005 Consultants File.

'With organic growth alone we will increase our turnover to £250M by 2009, ' said joint chief executive Hugh Blackwood.

'And we will be looking for earnings-enhancing acquisitions. We want to be a top five consultant in all the sectors in which we operate' All Scott Wilson staff will be given options on £1,000 of shares redeemable on the third anniversary of the float.

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