Home Improvements Company Entu To List On AIM After Placing

LONDON (Alliance News) - Home improvement company entu (UK) PLC Thursday said it will list on AIM ...

Alliance News 16 October, 2014 | 10:03AM
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LONDON (Alliance News) - Home improvement company entu (UK) PLC Thursday said it will list on AIM after its current shareholders sold a stake of up to 50% of the business for GBP32.8 million in a placing.

The company, which sells things like energy efficient windows, doors and conservatories, cavity wall products, solar power panels and energy efficient boilers, will not be raising any new money in the placing, but thinks admission to AIM will give it access to equity capital markets to support its growth and allow it to incentivise its management as well giving all employees the chance to own shares through an employee share option plan.

The selling shareholders sold 32.8 million shares at GBP1 each in the placing, and the company said it expects to have a market capitalisation of GBP65.6 million when it lists on AIM. It said it expects to pay a dividend equating to a yield of 8% based on the placing price.

According to a separate filing, biggest shareholder Brian Kennedy is selling half his 60% stake in the business, Chief Executive Ian Blackhurst will sell half his 15% stake while Belinda Blackhurst will sell the same amount, and Chief Financial Officer Darren Cornwall will sell half his 10% stake.

The shares are expected to be admitted to AIM on October 30.

The Manchester-based company employs 365 full time employees and uses about 1,216 self-employed canvassers, 530 self-employed sales agents and 827 self-employed installation professionals.

It made revenue of GBP95.5 million in the year to October 31, 2103, up from GBP91.7 million in the previous 12 months, and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of GBP6.3 million, down from GBP6.7 million. Revenue in the six months to end-April of this year were GBP57.9 million, up from GBP44.0 million a year earlier, while Ebitda was GBP5.6 million, up from GBP2.8 million.

There is increasing demand for energy-efficient home improvements in the UK, partly driven by government schemes offering financial support for home owners willing to make such upgrades. Companies including entu have been taking advantage of the demand increase and the government schemes.

Entu said it thinks it can grow significantly by increasing its product range in energy efficient boilers and solar installations, as well as growing in the fledgling market for "smart energy control" products, such as remote intelligent heating and lighting automation controlled by smartphones and other mobile devices.

The overall UK home improvements market is worth an estimated GBP27 billion annually with windows and doors alone worth around GBP3.4 billion in 2013, according to entu.

"The directors consider the group is well placed for continued growth, both organically and through acquisition opportunities due to its national coverage of installation and service centres as well as a diversified focus on energy efficiency," it said.

"I am delighted at the level of institutional support we have received. In a highly fragmented market, we believe entu is unique. We are a fully integrated home improvements and energy efficiency business with a UK-wide reach. We see exciting opportunities to grow, by developing our product offering and leveraging our unified brand and website - and so bringing more choice and benefits for our customers," Chief Executive Blackhurst added.

By Steve McGrath; stevemcgrath@alliancenews.com; @stevemcgrath1

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