PLUS Markets, a UK exchange group specialising in mid- and small-cap trading, has announced that a group of investors from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is to invest £5.5 million for a 19% stake in the firm.
Amara Dhari Investments, a special purpose vehicle created for this strategic investment, has subscribed to buy 73,333,333 in ordinary shares of PLUS at 7.5 pence per share. PLUS said the investment will support ongoing expansion plans in the Middle East and North Africa. Currently, around a quarter of the issuers quoted on PLUS are either overseas companies or operate mainly overseas.
The investment is conditional on PLUS receiving a minimum subscription of £5 million and subject to the passing of shareholder resolutions at a meeting on 25 September.
PLUS has also agreed in principle to issue Amara Dhari with a warrant to subscribe for a further 58,000,000 new ordinary shares at 5 pence per share, if the investor introduces new business in line with certain revenue targets. If the warrant is fully exercised, the total investment in the exchange group will be £8.4 million before expenses. The deal was arranged by Qatar Consulting Company, who will also purchase 3,666,667 PLUS shares when the deal is completed.
PLUS said the deal will promotes its services in the Middle East, including issuers on its primary markets and trading members. “This capital raising initiative substantially strengthens our balance sheet during these sensitive times in the market and will support our continuing efforts to build market share and take our place in the exchange environment,” said Simon Brickles, CEO, PLUS Markets, in a statement.