Walker Morris advising TheWorks.co.uk plc on admission to the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange

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Multidisciplinary team reinforces public company expertise with latest IPO transaction

Specialist lawyers from Walker Morris are advising TheWorks.co.uk plc on its proposed initial public offering and the placing of 40,766,165 ordinary shares at 160 pence each by Investec Bank plc, which equates to a market capitalisation on admission of approximately £100m million.

The Company has applied for admission to the main market for listed securities of the London Stock Exchange and it is expected that dealings will commence at 8.00 am on 19 July 2018, with the publication of the Company’s prospectus expected later today.

The Works is one of the UK’s leading multi-channel specialist retailers of value gifts, arts, crafts, toys, books and stationery, and occupies an attractive position within the high growth discount retail sector, offering a differentiated proposition as a value alternative to full price specialist retailers. The Group offers its dynamic and diversified product offering through its nationwide network of over 447 branded stores and concessions, as well as through its fast growing and profitable e-commerce platform, www.theworks.co.uk.

Over the last three financial years, the Group has opened a net 134 new retail stores and concessions and the continued roll out of the Group’s store network represents a key driver of growth in the business.

Walker Morris fielded a multi-disciplinary team to advise The Works led by corporate partner Richard Naish, who was supported by Debbie Jackson, Adrian Moss, Rebecca Austin-Heath and Marianne McKeown (Corporate); Michael Taylor and Ricky Walker (Banking & Finance); Andrew Rayment (Employment); and Cameron Baloyi Rigby (Real Estate), as well as specialist lawyers from its commercial contracts, IP and tax/share schemes’ teams.

Kevin Keaney, Chief Executive Officer of The Works, said:

“Today represents a significant milestone for The Works and we’re extremely pleased with the level of interest we’ve received from investors in our business. They’ve seen what our customers see every day – a unique and exciting retail experience that combines value, quality and variety that’s available online and in-store. With a highly experienced management team, energised staff and compelling offer, we are well-positioned for further growth. We’re grateful to our exiting shareholders Endless, whose support has enabled us to get here today and look forward to welcoming new shareholders to join us in this exciting new chapter for the business.”

Richard Naish commented:

“The Group’s management has a strong financial track record which has delivered growth and increased cash margins over recent years – which is all the more impressive against an economic backdrop which has seen other retailers struggle. It was great to be asked to advise on this next chapter in the Group’s development.

“As a firm we have a strong public company practice working with companies, sponsors, brokers, nomads, and private equity firms. Last month, we advised on the successful £103 million AIM IPO of Knights Group Holdings Plc (acting for Numis) and in April we advised on the AIM IPO of The SimplyBiz Group plc, with a market cap of £130 million at admission (acting for Zeus Capital).

Debbie Jackson added:

“The Works was backed by private equity investment firm, Endless LLP, which has an incredibly strong and successful track record in investing and developing companies. Having had a long-history of working with Endless-backed companies we’re delighted to be involved with Endless’ first exit by means of an IPO and contribute to this important milestone for both The Works and Endless.”

Earlier this month the Financial Conduct Authority introduced new rules in its Conduct of Business Sourcebook which affect timing and the documents required on an IPO. The aim of the new rules is to improve the range, quality and timeliness of the information that is made available to market participants during the IPO process.  For further information on the changes please see our briefing: Changes on the horizon for the IPO process.

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