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.