County Durham pharma firm launches dealings on AIM market

Quantum Pharma Plc will raise £106.1m to fuel its growth plans and complete its acquisition of Kent-based Colonis

Muckle LLP lawyers with Andrew Scaife and Martin Such of Quantum Pharma, seated
Muckle LLP lawyers with Andrew Scaife and Martin Such of Quantum Pharma, seated

Drug manufacturer Quantum Pharma Plc has commenced dealings on AIM following the successful pricing of the company’s IPO.

The County Durham-based firm expected high demand for the share placing, which launched today, December 11, aided by nominated advisors and brokers, Zeus Capital.

The company’s enterprise value of more than £130m on London’s AIM market will raise gross proceeds of £106.1m.

Quantum, which employs around 320 people across its UK sites, has previously told how the money will be used for paying down debts and to complete its acquisition of Kent-based pharmaceutical developers, Colonis.

The firm also said its AIM listing would provide access to capital markets for further equity funding in the future, should it be required for acquisitions and acceleration of strategy.

LDC’s Yorkshire and North East team backed the £32.5m management buyout of the business – formerly Quantum Specials – in February 2009, in a deal led at Muckle by corporate team head, Robert Phillips and Craig Swinhoe.

Since then the investors have supported a number of bolt-on acquisitions including that of Colonis, Protomed and Tomms to help broaden the business’ service offering.

As part of the IPO process, LDC were keen to hold an ongoing stake in the business given the growth prospects and they will retain an 8.2% equity stake, with directors and senior management of Quantum Pharma retaining approximately 8.5% of the issued share capital.

Andrew Scaife, chief executive officer of Quantum Pharma Plc, said: “LDC has been an extremely supportive partner over the past five years in providing the necessary investment to deliver a number of strategic acquisitions and provide transformative change to our facilities and product offering.

“Now that we have established our position as a market leader in the UK niche pharmaceutical market, the listing on AIM will help take us to our next stage of development as we target further growth.

“Quite simply, we couldn’t have accomplished what we have without relying on the technical excellence of the lawyers at Muckle and their consistent commitment to doing whatever it takes to keep projects moving forward to the agreed timescales. Their one-team approach has worked so well on this latest project and given us all the confidence boosts needed to complete such an enormous undertaking.

“They are true business advisers, solving problems and going beyond what could have realistically been expected of them to achieve the right result for Quantum and its shareholders. Floating our organisation on AIM involved the Muckle team carefully negotiating an extremely complicated set of business structures and relationships during this otherwise technically challenging project. The team’s deep understanding of the AIM rules and public markets’ practices and procedures was apparent throughout this project.

“Muckle LLP has provided us with a truly excellent level of service throughout our long relationship with them. We always find the team commercially and technically excellent and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them. They truly understand our business and what we need to achieve.”

As a further development, Craig Swinhoe has now become Quantum’s company secretary. He will be responsible for helping the board members to embrace their new publicly traded company environment, including the AIM regulatory regime.

Muckle LLP has now been lead legal adviser on three of the most recent five floats in the north east, involving Vertu Motors plc, Utilitywise plc and now Quantum Pharma Plc. The firm was also involved in a fourth, involving Kromek Group plc, when advising Kromek’s shareholders. Both Vertu Motors plc and Utilitywise plc won national awards for their “Best use of AIM.”

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