Ince completes £9.3m fund-raise as shareholder enthusiasm wanes

Stock exchange: Ince shares at historic low

Listed law firm the Ince Group confirmed yesterday that it had raised £9.3m in a fund-raise needed to ward off financial problems.

However, there was little enthusiasm among shareholders for a second part of the company’s efforts to bring in more cash.

We reported a month ago that an accelerated book-build raised £7.5m – having sought £7m – with the shares offered at a 58% discount on the price they closed at the previous day.

The firm said it was also taking out a £1.6m loan from its funding bank.

It told investors: “Without the fund-raising, the group will face financial difficulties and the company will need to look to alternative sources of funding in the short term which may not be readily available or so advantageous to the group or its shareholders.”

A fortnight later, Ince supplemented this with an open offer to shareholders of one share for every four they held, but at a slight premium to the then share price, in a bid to raise a further £1.1m.

Yesterday’s announcement indicated that it only achieved around £200,000, however.

The firm’s shares, which reached a peak of 191p in September 2018, have been on a downward trajectory since spring 2021, when they were around 80p. The first fund-raise saw the price more than halve to a then-record low of just 5.4p and they have barely moved since, closing up marginally yesterday at 5.1p.

A general meeting held yesterday approved admission of the shares from today.

Donald Brown – chief executive of the recently acquired corporate adviser Arden Partners – has now taken over as group CEO from Adrian Biles. Mr Biles “remains a director whilst his departure from the Board is finalised”.

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