AJ Bell shares fall 15% as Invesco sells £124m stake

Shares of Salford-based investment platform AJ Bell fell about 15% to around 380p on Friday after Invesco Asset Management Limited said it sold almost 31 million shares in AJ Bell — a roughly 7.5% stake — for £4 each to raise £124 million.

Certain AJ Bell executives also sold some shares including AJ Bell Investcentre managing director Fergus Lyons who sold 1.25 million shares at 448.6p each.

“Further to yesterday’s announcement, Invesco Asset Management Limited, in its capacity as agent for and on behalf of its discretionary managed clients, announces that, subject to completion, it has sold in aggregate 30,986,911 ordinary shares in AJ Bell at a price of 400 pence per share, raising aggregate gross proceeds of approximately £123.9 million,” said Invesco.

“Following completion of the placing, Invesco will hold 1,303,609 ordinary shares in AJ Bell, representing approximately 0.3% of the company’s issued share capital.”

On Thursday, AJ Bell said its revenue rose 22% to £60.9 million and profit before tax (PBT) was up 28% to £22.7 million in the six months ended March 31, 2020.

The firm said it will maintain an interim dividend of 1.5p per share.

Total customers increased by a record 30,113 in the period to 262,179, up 22% over the last 12 months and 13% in the first half of the current financial year.

Total net inflows were £2.1 billion (HY19: £1.8 billion), driven by platform net inflows of £2.5 billion (HY19: £2.1 billion)

Total assets under administration (AUA) increased by 1% over the last year, closing at £48.3 billion. 

AUA fell by 8% in the six-month period to March 31 “due to adverse market and other movements.”