Next Fifteen announces £4.3m share sale as it targets more acquisitions

Next Fifteen has announced plans for a share sale to raise about £4.3m (about $6.5 million) as it targets further acquisitions, specifically three investment and acquisition opportunities expected over the next six months.

Tim Dyson: CEO of Next Fifteen, which expects its results to exceed the top end of expectations
Tim Dyson: CEO of Next Fifteen, which expects its results to exceed the top end of expectations

The group, which owns Lexis PR among other related businesses, said it planned to place more than three million shares on AIM at 2.5p each. It follows a period of "strong overall trading", with the results for the 12 months to 31 January 2015 "now expected to exceed the top end of market expectations".

"After a particularly active six-month period to January 2015, the group has also identified a strong pipeline of potential further infill acquisitions and investments in pursuit of its digital expansion strategy in the UK and the US, including three specific smaller investment and acquisition opportunities which are expected to close in the next six months," Next Fifteen said in a statement this morning.

"While the group continues to operate with a containable net debt position of approximately £9m, the board considers it prudent to fund these opportunities principally from the proceeds of an equity issue and, accordingly, it is proposing to raise up to £4.3m, after expenses, through the proposed placing."

Non-executive chairman Richard Eyre said: "The execution of a clear digital strategy, concerted actions in the UK, mainland Europe and Asia and the focus on an appropriate capital structure position Next Fifteen well for continued growth."

It follows a period of acquisitions for Next Fifteen, which is listed on AIM and led by CEO Tim Dyson. In the second half of 2014 it bought a 75 per cent stake in London-based research consultancy Morar and announced its intention to buy the trade and assets of content marketing firm Story Worldwide.

Last week PRWeek reported that Next Fifteen’s Lexis PR agency is to undergo a management restructure with the imminent departure of three directors and the appointment of Kindred managing partner Ruth Kieran as its first deputy MD.

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