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Bell Financial to float

By Reporter
 — 1 minute read
Melbourne-based financial advisory group Bell Financial expects to float on the ASX next month.
Stockbroking and financial advisory group Bell Financial expects to raise about $86 million as part of its initial public offer (IPO) next month.

The Melbourne-based group has lodged its prospectus with ASIC and will begin trading on the Australian Securities Exchange on Wednesday December 12.

Bell Financial director product and marketing Colin Davidson said while the IPO was a natural progression for the business, it also provides an avenue to give staff a stake in the group.

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"I think it was a natural progression for the group. I think it came to mind six to nine months ago, and it was felt that given that it's a very competitive market out there - just in terms of retaining staff - that this was a good way to give staff a stake in the business," Davidson said.

Under the terms of the offer, staff will be eligible for three different options: a general offer, an employee discount offer, and an employee share acquisition plan (ESAP).

He said the employee discount offer, which is available to all employees, is priced at about a 10 per cent discount to the $2 issue price. More than 300 staff are expected to apply to the ESAP.

"Some of the staff will be offered long term incentive plan - so options in the business. And that will be decided by the board of directors of Bell Financial Group. And the remainder of the staff will be offered shares under the employee share acquisition plan, which is effectively a $1000 worth of shares," Davidson said.

As well as giving staff incentives, the listing will also provide Bell Financial with growth opportunities.

"The Bell Financial Group will retain $27 million from the float. In total we are raising about $86 million and the remainder will go to the founding shareholders," Davidson said.

"So with that $27 million, clearly they'll be looking for opportunities outside of the business, and also looking to expand some of their current products, for example our margin lending.

"We have nothing on the horizon at the moment. But obviously it's nice to have a bit of cash there in case the opportunities do arise."

Bell Financial has a total  of 630 staff located in 12 offices. The group has funds under management of about $4 billion and sponsored holdings in excess of $21 billion.

Bell Financial to float
Melbourne-based financial advisory group Bell Financial expects to float on the ASX next month.
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