Foresight eyes up London Stock Exchange as it unveils IPO plans
The Foresight Group today announced that it is considering continuing with an initial public offering (IPO) in a move described by executive chairman and co-founder Bernard Fairman as the investor's "next logical step."
If the IPO continues, Foresight will apply for admission of its shares to the premium listing segment of the Official List of the Financial Conduct Authority and will commence trading on the main market for listed securities on the London Stock Exchange.
According to Fairman, this would support the investor's growth strategy, which includes developing its existing platform, "making further acquisitions and expanding and diversifying both geographically and into new areas of sustainable investment."
When it comes specifically to the infrastructure arm of Foresight, which includes its investments in, among other technologies, solar and onshore wind, bioenergy and battery storage, it targets both larger deals, which it said would be partially enabled by increased demand for co-investment structures, and larger projects and investment opportunities.
This would come with larger commitments from its increasingly international investor base, with Foresight also looking at further acquisitions opportunistically, such as the addition of the JLEN advisory mandate and management team in 2019, a move it said has strengthened its performance in fundraising.
The company pointed to how the renewables targets for the UK and EU member states will “reshape the future dynamics of electricity production”, with Fairman claiming that Foresight is “extremely well positioned to benefit from the accelerating global stimulus to the renewable energy and infrastructure market”.
The key competitive advantages of Foresight were listed in particular as its specialist investment capabilities in large and thematically growing, difficult-to-access markets, its integrated investment platform, the ability to consistently raise funds from a diverse investor base, recurring revenues and a strong ESG-focused investment track record.
It expects to qualify for the Green Economy Mark of the London Stock Exchange on its entry into the main market, with the mark recognizing companies deriving 50 per cent or more of their total annual revenue from products and services contributing to the green economy.
In the 2020 financial year, the Foresight Group generated revenue of £57.3 million, a jump on the £49.5 million generated in the 2019 financial year. Its core EBITDA came in at £12.9 million, again up on 2019’s £11.9 million. For the six months ended 30 September 2020, Foresight generated revenue of £32.4 million, an increase of £4.2 million on the same period of 2019.
Should the investor proceed with the IPO, features such as a premium listing on the FCA's Official List and admission to trading on the London Stock Exchange's main market for listed securities are expected. It would also consist primarily of the sale of existing shareholders' shares with a smaller offering of new shares to be issued.
Foresight expects up to 50 percent of its issued share capital to be in public hands immediately after admission and that it would be eligible to be included in the FTSE UK Index Series.