Retail Share Offers

Saga, the well recognised UK consumer brand, provides products and services for people aged 50 and over. The Company has been built on high standards of customer care, value for money and talking directly to its customers. Hence the management were keen to offer shares directly to its customers using where possible its existing infrastructure and facilities (such as its own call centre and printing & mailing house).
The Company was also keen that other private investors should be able to participate and so they were allowed to apply either directly to the Company or via stockbrokers and share dealing providers in an Intermediaries Offer.
From "Intention to Float" on 30 April to launch of the offer was just 8 days followed by a 12 day offer period. During that period 248,000 retail investors applied for £842m worth of shares.
Solid Solutions managed the whole retail offer including both the Direct Offer & Intermediaries Offer; where possible using Saga's own in-house resources.
Merlin Entertainments is the world's second largest visitor attraction operator with 99 attractions in 22 countries, including Legoland, Alton Towers and Madame Tussauds. The owners including private equity investors and management were keen to allow private investors to participate in the IPO but without adding an extra burden to management during and after the IPO.
As the sale followed the hugely popular Royal Mail Share Offer, the company and its advisers were concerned that the offer could attract too much demand from private investors, and so the retail offer was made by way of an intermediaries offer. Intermediaries were given indications of the scale of demand expected of them.
The marketing period was just nine days long and the offer period just seven days. Private investors applied for £228m worth of shares and were allocated 12.5% of the equity floated.
Solid Solutions were the Intermediaries Offer Adviser and managed the offer to private investors, as well as the setting up of the shareholder benefits package (discounted entry to attractions).
The insurance group, Direct Line Group, owners of Direct Line, Churchill and Privilege insurances and Green Flag breakdown was being floated by its owner RBS. RBS was keen to maximise demand and the price it obtained for its holding and so wanted to attract funds from private investors but without a high profile campaign and the additional burden of a large number of small shareholders.
The retail offer was by way of an intermediaries offer. Certain financial intermediaries were invited to participate, who mainly promoted the offer to their existing client base and predominantly via online applications.
Despite their being no proactive promotion, an offer period of only 10 days and a limited number of intermediaries participating; 25,000 investors applied for £177m. Private investors were allocated 15% of the equity floated.
Solid Solutions working with Barclays managed the intermediaries offer and the associated document drafting and intermediaries coordination.
The bookmaker William Hill was, at the time, owned by CVC and Cinven who were keen to sell part of their holding and raise proceeds. The company, as well as wanting to raise funds from retail investors, was keen to raise their profile and to create a loyal shareholder and customer base, especially around the time of the 2002 World Cup.
The retail offer was by way of an intermediaries offer. All UK stockbrokers were invited to participate with two leading firms handling enquiries and applications from private investors without an existing relationship with a stockbroker.
At the end of a two week offer period, applications were received from 31,000 investors for £125m of shares. This represented over 25% of the offer and exceeded the initial target figure of around 15%. On the back of the IPO the company received extensive PR with positive coverage about the company and its management.
Solid Solutions managed all aspects of the retail offer. This involved coordinating the requirements and activities of over 70 retail stockbrokers, including encouraging the participation of their investment advisers and in turn customers.