Monday, June 27, 2016

News: New investors on board at Fishing Republic


Rotherham-based retailer, Fishing Republic has landed £3.75m from big name investors as it carries out its expansion plans by snapping up smaller, often family-owned fishing retail businesses.

The placing of ten million new shares at 15p per share in June 2015 raised £1.5m for the Eastwood company that is already one of the largest retailers of fishing tackle in the UK by floorspace.

Floating on AIM, the directors believe that Fishing Republic is the only participant in the market looking to act as a consolidator. It has now raised £3.75m through a placing of 10,714,288 new ordinary shares of 1p each at a price of 35p per placing share. The placing, which was heavily oversubscribed, was undertaken by the company's broker Northland Capital Partners.

Announcing the placing to the stock market, Fishing Republic said in a statement: "The net proceeds of the Placing will be used to support Fishing Republic's continuing expansion as it seeks to build a significant market presence in the highly fragmented fishing tackle sector. In particular, the new funds will be used to develop Fishing Republic's online platform and digital strategy, and to support further store openings, including potential acquisitions."


Amongst the new shareholders, Fishing Republic announced that Bill Currie, Iain McDonald and Sir Terry Leahy have agreed to subscribe for, in aggregate, 6,014,286 placing shares, which will equate to a combined shareholding of 15.9% of the company's issued share capital.

Leahy is the current chairman of fast-growing discount retailer, B&M. He is the former chief executive of Tesco.

After leaving stockbroking, Bill Currie founded an investment office, The William Currie Group, and The Fragrance Shop. The William Currie Group, of which McDonald is currently a partner, is a private family office with interests in technology and e-commerce investments.

In addition, James Newman, the chairman of Fishing Republic, has subscribed for 28,571 placing shares.

"Encouraging results in line with market expectations" were reported for the year ended December 31 2015. Sales for the year as a whole increased by 22% to £4.12m, compared to the £3.39m in 2014, with sales in the second half after launching on the stock exchange rising by 45% year-on-year.

The additional costs of being a quoted company and increased marketing expenditure meant that the group reported profit before tax (which includes expensed IPO costs of £299,000) was £5,700, down from £295,000 in 2014. However, the group's gross profit increased by 21% to £1.88m (2014: £1.55m).

Shares are now trading at 40p.

Fishing Republic website

Images: Fishing Republic


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