Diss-based Midwich to raise £75.2m through AIM flotation

Stephen Fenby, MD of Midwich at Diss, distributers for audio visual products. Picture: Denise Bradle

Stephen Fenby, MD of Midwich at Diss, distributers for audio visual products. Picture: Denise Bradley - Credit: Archant 2013

Audio-visual specialists Midwich Group, based in Diss, is expecting to raise £75.2m by floating on AIM.

The EDP Top100 company, which employs more than 400 people at its Vince's Road headquarters, said it plans to raise the capital by placing 36.2 million new and existing shares at 208p per share.

The placing price will give the company a market capitalisation of approximately £165.3m on admission on Friday.

It said £26m would be used to partially pay down debt under the group's existing facilities, fund the final payment in the acquisition of Kern & Stelly, and repay existing shareholder loans. The remaining £49.2m will be for the benefit of selling shareholders, the firm added.

Managing director Stephen Fenby said: 'We are delighted to announce the pricing of our IPO and forthcoming admission to AIM.

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'Today represents an important milestone in the group's history and becoming a public company will further enhance Midwich's leading competitive position as a specialist AV and document solutions distributor to the trade market.

'I would like to welcome our new shareholders and I am very excited about the next stage of our journey as we continue to grow both in the UK and internationally.'

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A spokesman said last month that flotation would provide the trade-only AV distributor with 'an excellent platform to support the group's ongoing growth and investment'.

The company turned over £280m in the year to December 31, 2014, and has more than 10,000 customers, as well as relationships with 300 vendors, including Samsung, LG, Epson and NEC.

It was originally founded by husband-and-wife team David and Ruth Watson, but has since undergone several changes of ownership.

It started off assembling BBC computers and distributing computer components in 1979 and then moved on to printers.

In the mid-1990s it then got into audio-visual products as office projector began to soar in popularity, when current managing director Stephen Fenby came on board.

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