Pinsent Masons advises IP Group on Australia launch, £266.6 million fundraise and potential £1.3 billion combination with Touchstone Innovations

24 May 2017 | 09:56 am | 1 min. read

International law firm Pinsent Masons is advising IP Group plc on its launch of IP2IPO Australia and a proposed capital raise of up to £266.6m.

The deal, which will see the FTSE 250 IP commercialisation company work alongside nine leading Australian and New Zealand research universities. Pinsent Masons is also advising IP Group on a potential £1.3 billion combination with AIM quoted Touchstone Innovations.

A merger with the UK company, which invests in pioneering technology companies and licensing opportunities in and around London, Oxford and Cambridge, would see IP Group substantially diversify its global portfolio.

Corporate partner, Russell Booker led a team advising IP Group working with, among others, competition partner, Guy Lougher, share options and long term incentives partner, Lynette Jacobs, senior associate Adam Cain and associate Sandra Plantier. Through its partnerships with the Go8 Universities in Australia and the University of Auckland in New Zealand IP Group intends to form spin-out companies based on disruptive IP developed in the universities to provide unrivalled access to commercial IP.

Commenting on the deal Russell Booker said:

"We have acted for IP Group since its start up in 2000 and our knowledge of the client and the sector has been a real asset for this suite of transactions. We look forward to continuing that relationship in the years to come.  This is a fast growing area and we have seen a rush of new entrants in the last two or three years. The market continues to develop and expand and greater depth and availability of patient capital makes it easier to build businesses from initial research into world-changing businesses built around intellectual property.

"This highly significant deal builds on the success of Pinsent Masons which has completed five cross-border corporate deals with values exceeding $1b billion each in the past 12 months."

The firm has also advised IP Group on its raising of approximately £200 million through a firm placing, and a placing, open offer and offer for subscription. The company has reserved the right to increase this to £66.6m should there be sufficient demand. 

New shareholders include Temasek and Telstra and existing shareholders include Invesco, Woodford and Lansdowne. The firm placing is fully underwritten by Numis. The fund raise will  provide the  capital to successfully launch and develop IP2IPO Australia and enable the company to invest in  new and existing opportunities in the UK and the US.

Numis Securities Limited act as sponsor, broker, underwriter and joint financial adviser and N M Rothschild & Sons Limited act as joint financial adviser to IP Group plc.  

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