Plus Markets to raise £25m in placing

Plus Markets to raise £25m in placing

Plus Markets, the quote-driven alternative to the London Stock Exchange's SETSmm order taking system, is raising £25 million in a share placing which it will use to extend its market services, prepare for MiFID and strengthen its balance sheet.

Plus says it is planning to raise the funds through a placing of just under 179 new shares at 14 pence each.

The placing, which represents 57.02% of the enlarged issued share capital of the company, will raise fund which will be used to improve Plus's trading platforms ahead of MiFID, recruit and retain staff, expand sales and relationship management activities and develop and promote new trading and market data services.

An EGM to approve the share placing will be held on 8 January 2007.

Plus Markets also disclosed a number of board changes, which include the departure of current chief financial officer, Darren Francis, and non-executive directors Helen Bagan and John Wedgwood.

The company says it intends to appoint Brian Taylor to replace Francis as chief financial officer. Taylor is currently the MD of BTA Consulting Limited, a niche financial markets consultancy group. His previous roles include senior manager at Price Waterhouse and a vice president at Merrill Lynch Europe.

In addition, the firm intends to appoint Ian Salter and Giles Vardey as non-executive directors. Both are former directors of London Stock Exchange having served as deputy chairman and an executive director respectively.

Simon Brickles, CEO of Plus Markets, says the company has evolved rapidly over the last two years and the placing represents "a sea change in the scale of our operations".

"The placing will enable us to fund a further substantial extension of our trading and quotation services including into more liquid securities," says Brickles. "The new appointments to our board will ensure that we have the leadership necessary to develop into a fully competitive stock exchange for London."

Earlier this year Plus Markets applied to the Financial Services Authority (FSA) for recognised investment exchange (RIE) status.

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