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Marketing move launches Scott Wilson flotation

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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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