Kitwave, North Shields wholesaler, in £105m IPO

Kitwave, the North Shields-based wholesaler, has announced plans for a stock market flotation at 150p per share that will value it at around £105 million.

Kitwave said it will list on the London Stock Exchange’s junior AIM index later this month.

The company plans to raise £64 million, with current shareholders planing to sell £17.6 million worth of stock.

Kitwave Group makes revenue of around £590 million and has 1,100 employees and a network of 26 depots throughout the UK, specialising in selling “impulse” products such as confectionery, soft drinks, snacks, ice cream, as well as frozen and chilled foods, alcohol, groceries and tobacco to 38,000 customers. 

“On admission, the company will have 70,000,000 ordinary shares in issue and a free float of approximately 51.1 per cent …” said Kitwave.

The placing attracted strong support from high quality institutional investors and was significantly over-subscribed …

On admission, the directors and senior management of the company will own approximately 22.3 per cent. of the issued ordinary shares …

The company intends to use the net proceeds of the placing to reduce the group’s existing debt and to pay the group’s expenses in connection with the placing …

The company will make an application, in due course, to the London Stock Exchange for admission and commencement of dealings of 70,000,000 ordinary shares, with admission expected to take place at 08:00 a.m. on 24 May 2021.”

Kitwave CEO Paul Young said: We are delighted with the strong support shown by our new investors, which we view as a highly positive endorsement of Kitwave’s strategy to grow and capitalise upon the large addressable market that we are well positioned to serve.

“To date, we have executed a highly successful buy-and-build strategy, having acquired and integrated 10 wholesale distributors into the group since 2011, and we are confident that trading on AIM will enable us to continue to support this strategy.

“Furthermore, the directors believe that admission will enhance the profile of the group and its brands, improve Kitwave’s position with key suppliers, strengthen the group’s balance sheet, and provide the group with greater ability to incentivise and retain key employees going forward.

“Kitwave has worked hard to build its reputation as a trusted brand ambassador and provide the excellent levels of service that we pride ourselves on.

“We are confident that admission to AIM will enable us to further improve our services to existing and prospective customers across the UK and globally.

“We look forward to an exciting future as a public company and generating shareholder value.”

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Mark McSherry
Dalriada Media LLC sites are edited by veteran news journalist Mark McSherry, a former staff editor and reporter with Reuters, Bloomberg and major newspapers including the South China Morning Post, London's Sunday Times and The Scotsman. McSherry's journalism has also appeared in The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Independent, The New York Times, London's Evening Standard and Forbes. McSherry is also a professor of journalism and communication arts in universities and colleges in New York City. Scottish-born McSherry has an MBA from the University of Edinburgh and a Certificate in Global Affairs from New York University.