IP2IPO plans own IPO

UK intellectual property group IP2IPO, a subsidiary of Evolution Beeson Gregory, is preparing for floatation on London’s Alternative Investment Market with an expected market capitalisation of £100-110m. The group hopes to raise £25m of new money, net of expenses. On admission the Evolution group, itself a listed company, plans to reduce its holdings in IP2IPO to less than 50%. The company’s adviser and broker is KBC Peel Hunt.

IP2IPO specialises in commercialising intellectual property and in September agreed its fourth partnership with a UK university’s research department. Under these agreements the group receives a share of the equity in spinout companies and/or income from the licensing of IP in exchange for seed funding. Alex Snow, chief executive of Evolution, said: “The flotation of IP2IPO is a major strategic step forward for Evolution as we continue to focus on our core strengths of investment banking and retail fund management. IP2IPO is a truly unique British asset with significant business momentum and multiple growth opportunities. We look forward to sharing IP2IPO’s success with a wider group of investors.”

The group was initiated in December 2000 when Beeson Gregory entered into a 15-year partnership with the University of Oxford’s chemistry department, entitling the company to 50% of the university’s equity in spinout companies and a share in the income from IP licensing. The company formed to manage this venture was transferred to a separate subsidiary, IP2IPO, in August 2001. The following year the company established a 25-year agreement with the University of Southampton. IP2IPO raised £3m to develop the relationship with the university and has committed to invest £5m in spinout companies.

This year IP2IPO has concluded two 25-year partnerships, with King’s College London and the University of York’s Centre for Novel Agricultural Products (CNAP). The group has committed to invest £5m in King’s College’s spinout companies and will make a contribution to patenting costs over 5 years. IP2IPO will provide £1.15m over three years to establish a technology commercialisation company at York.