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Lloyds British Testing lists on AIM

The flotation of Lloyds British Testing, which was the subject of a Lloyds TSB Development Capital-backed MBI in 1999, values the company at GBP6.5 million. Of the GBP4.1 million raised, GBP3.4 million will go to Lloyds TSB Development Capital (LDC) earning an IRR of around 20 per cent.

Although LBT was valued at GBP10 million last year and had hoped for a listing valuation of GBP8.5 million, Nick Bacon of LDC’s Birmingham office said the IPO represented a fair valuation of the company which LDC was prepared to accept. “We’re extremely happy with the timing of the floatation, the state of the main markets means its difficult to get a standard IPO away so it’s reasonable to expect the problems to cascade to the junior markets,” says Bacon.

In early 1999 LDC financed a management buy-in of Lloyds Equipment Hire, led by managing director Ian White, with GBP1.5 million of equity. The deal acquired the company from KONE Cranes. A year later the investor provided GBP1.2 million further equity financing to acquire Lloyds British Testing, again from KONE a Finnish crane specialist. The group became known as Lloyds British Group. The company, which has a 200 year history, specialises in lifting engineering services, including materials testing services, design, operator training, equipment hire, sales and other associated areas. After fees the balance of funds raised by the floatation will be used to make small acquisitions.

Unicorn AIM VCT is reported to be the largest institutional investor in the company’s shares.