The investment consultancy chosen by Agents’ Mutual to advise on its float plans - Zeus Capital - is the same one that assisted Purplebricks to float in 2015.
Zeus describes itself as “an independent investment banking boutique” which, in its role as a broker, as helped raise in excess of £3.6 billion over the last four years.
It acted as nominated adviser (nick-named a Nomad) as well as sole broker to Purplebricks, resulting in a market capitalisation on admission of £240m. The hybrid agency’s stock market record since that time has been well-documented, although it now appears to be stabilising well off its highs of earlier this summer.
It is customary that organisations bring in Nomads when they work towards an Initial Public Offering; Agents’ Mutual announced Zeus’ involvement when news broke of the float proposal on Sky News earlier this month.
Stock Exchange rules say Nomads - which have to be approved by the Stock Exchange itself - are responsible “for advising and guiding a company on its responsibilities in relation to its admission to the Alternative Investment Market [one of the Stock Exchange markets] as well as its continuing obligations once on market.”
The rules say that the Nomad should undertake extensive due diligence to ensure a company is suitable for AIM, provide guidance throughout the flotation process, help prepare the AIM admission document (the prospectus for future investors), and confirm appropriateness of the company to the Exchange.
It is understood from a source close to the Agents’ Mutual board that some of this work is already underway.
The role of the broker is the assess the investor interest in the company, advise on timing and related issues for an IPO, and advise on the pricing of shares.
Until recently board members of Agents' Mutual were vehemently opposed to allowing online agencies to list on OnTheMarket, however the float proposals include provision for what it calls 'virtual' to be treated in a similar way to traditional agencies.