Freeths advises Autins Group PLC on £37.1 million stock market flotation

Freeths’ corporate team has advised Autins Group Plc on its flotation on AIM.

Autins Group specialises in the design, manufacture and supply of acoustic and thermal insulation solutions, primarily in the automotive sector, but with an increasing focus on other sectors including white goods, power generation, marine, apparel, rail, commercial vehicles and industrial sectors.

The Rugby-headquartered manufacturer counts some of the world’s leading vehicle producers, including Jaguar Land Rover, Bentley and Honda among its key customers.

The oversubscribed flotation values the Group at £37.1 million, and is the first successful admission to London Stock Exchange’s AIM market in the UK manufacturing sector that has been completed since the United Kingdom’s vote to leave the European Union on 23 June.

Despite the uncertain times, Autins Group Chief Executive, Jim Griffin, is very positive about the Company’s outlook and prospects and commented as follows:

“Autins has established itself as a leading supplier of noise and heat management products in the automotive market and we believe the IPO is the right strategy to support the continued development of the business as it continues to grow into new and existing markets.

The Board has been delighted by the support of its new investors and we look forward to reporting on the progress of the business and delivering value for our shareholders in the months and years ahead.”

Freeths, which has recently been ranked by Experian as most active law firm in the UK for M&A deals completed in July since the Brexit vote, fielded a cross-office deal team for the project, led by London office corporate head, Tom Rowley, who commented:

“We are delighted to have acted for Autins on this landmark project in the company’s development.

Autins is a high quality growth business and it is gratifying that, despite the economic turbulence of recent months, through our close collaboration with a strong management team and fellow professional advisers we have been able to achieve a great outcome for this dynamic and valued client.

The deal also showcases the ability of Freeths’ integrated national corporate team to bring growing regional businesses to the London capital markets, whilst maintaining our focus on providing a high quality and cost-efficient service to local clients across our regional offices”.

Freeths’ Birmingham office head of corporate, Lee Clifford, added:

“We are seeing increasing numbers of long-established Midlands businesses – such as Autins – looking at transformational corporate transactions on a national and international level.

Our growing London office, staffed by high quality lawyers from City backgrounds, gives us great access to expertise, contacts and sources of capital which we can deploy for the benefit of Freeths clients across the UK”.

The Freeths’ deal team also included Ateeq Ahmed (director, corporate), Tom Rainey (solicitor, corporate), Sophie Lang (solicitor, corporate), Nikki Guest (trainee solicitor, corporate), Tim Salisbury (trainee solicitor, corporate), Jonny Mayner (associate, IP), Jodie Clarke (associate, employment), Richard Ferguson (associate, tax), Parminder Latimer (partner, pensions), Anne Taylor (director, pensions), Roxane Savage (solicitor, real estate) and Emma Tattersdill (partner, environmental).

In relation to Freeths’ role in the deal, CEO Jim Griffin commented:

“To spend so much time on an IPO and also buying out two companies as well, I thought working with a legal firm would be tedious. However, Freeths’ team are outstanding and, throughout the 12 months that we have been working together on these projects, they have consistently provided a professional service that exceeded my expectations.

They have clearly gone above and beyond the norm to ensure our needs were met. I look forward to working with Freeths over the coming years.”

Autins Group non-executive chairman, Adam Attwood, added:

“As a Board we were very impressed by Freeths. They provided a seamless responsive service both when and where we needed it, whether in London, locally at our HQ in the West Midlands, or internationally.

Despite the complexity and challenges of the IPO process, Tom, Ateeq and all the corporate team provided us with clear and concise guidance to navigate through the legal maze.

They quickly proposed pragmatic commercial solutions when issues arose and greatly contributed to the overall delivery of this very successful IPO.”

Cantor Fitzgerald Europe (Phil Davies, Will Goode and Callum Butterfield) acted as Nomad / Broker to the company. Paul Cliff and Tom Rush of Gateley Plc acted as legal counsel to the Nomad. Reporting accountants were BDO LLP (Graham Elsworth, Andrew Mair and Wayne Causon).

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