Seraphine gets majority shareholder support for go-private plan
Maternitywear specialist Seraphine announced on Thursday that it has received majority support for its plan to go private and that the share purchase offer will close as of 6 April when the firm will be de-listed.
Back in January, it signalled an end to its not-too-successful period as a stock exchange-listed company with news that its existing private equity backer, Mayfair Equity partners (MEP), had offered to take it private at 30p a share.
That valued it at just £15.3 million, a sharp contrast to its much higher valuation when it listed on the stock exchange 18 months earlier at £2.95 per share. The shares had been trading at less than 10p each before the offer.
MEP’s Bidco Mayfair and subsidiaries have now received valid acceptances of the offer representing 88.24% of the issued ordinary share capital of Seraphine. It urged remaining shareholders to accept the offer as it gets closer to the 90% threshold under which it can acquire the shares compulsorily.
The move to once again become a privately-held company comes as Seraphine battles a tough market and falling revenues.
The company was founded by Cecile Reinaud in 2002 and grew globally before she retired from the business in 2020. An MEP-backed management buyout valued it at around £50 million and the 2021 listing saw MEP retaining a 40% stake of what looked to be an expanding business.
MEP said it remains supportive of management’s strategy and that the share price woes were negatively impacting Seraphine's ability to deliver that strategy and attract and retain talent.
It said it will provide additional capital to strengthen the balance sheet and safeguard the business.
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