THIS ANNOUNCEMENT AND THE INFORMATION CONTAINED HEREIN, IS NOT FOR PUBLICATION, RELEASE OR DISTRIBUTION, DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY, IN WHOLE OR IN PART, IN OR INTO THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, AUSTRALIA, CANADA, JAPAN OR THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA OR ANY OTHER JURISDICTION IN WHICH IT WOULD BE UNLAWFUL TO DO SO.
THIS ANNOUNCEMENT CONTAINS INSIDE INFORMATION
28 January 2021
PROPOSED SECONDARY PLACING OF 16 MILLION ORDINARY SHARES IN KNIGHTS GROUP HOLDINGS PLC (THE "COMPANY" OR "KNIGHTS")
Knights Group Holdings plc (AIM:KGH), one of the UK's fastest growing legal and professional services businesses, today announces that it has been informed by David Beech (Chief Executive Officer) and Bal Johal (Chairman) (together, the "Selling Shareholders") of their intention to sell 15,700,000 and 300,000 ordinary shares in Knights respectively (together, the "Placing Shares").
The Placing Shares being an aggregate of 16,000,000 ordinary shares in Knights represent 19.4% of the Company's issued share capital.
The Placing Shares are being offered by way of an accelerated bookbuild (the "Placing"), which will be launched immediately following this announcement. Numis Securities Limited ("Numis") is acting as Sole Bookrunner in connection with the Placing.
David Beech is participating in the Placing with respect to a portion of his shareholding to satisfy strong institutional demand and enhance the liquidity in the Company's shares, as well as for his own estate planning purposes. David Beech remains fully committed to his role in driving the business forward and intends to remain a significant shareholder for the long-term following the completion of the Placing. The Company's ordinary shares held by David Beech following the Placing will be subject to a new lock-in which ends two years after completion of the Placing (subject to waiver by Numis and to certain customary exceptions).
At the time of the initial public offering of ordinary shares in Knights (the "IPO"), which were admitted to trading on 29 June 2018, David Beech entered into a three-year lock-in agreement with the Company and Numis in respect of 100% of his shareholding (subject to certain customary exceptions). Numis, which has consented to the Placing, has agreed to waive the lock-in in respect of the Placing Shares held by David Beech given the strong institutional demand for the shares.
The final number of Placing Shares to be placed, and the price at which the Placing Shares are to be placed, will be agreed by Numis and the Selling Shareholders at the close of the bookbuild process, and the results of the Placing will be announced as soon as practicable thereafter. The timings for the close of the bookbuild process are at the absolute discretion of the Sole Bookrunner.
The Company will not receive any proceeds from the Placing.
Numis (Sole Bookrunner, Nomad and Broker)
+44 (0) 207 260 1000
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MHP Communications (Media enquiries)
+44 (0) 203 128 8549
Knights is a fast-growing, legal and professional services business, ranked within the UK's top 100 largest law firms by revenue. Knights was one of the first law firms in the UK to move from the traditional partnership model to a corporate structure in 2012 and has since grown rapidly. Knights has specialists in all key areas of corporate and commercial law so that it can offer end-to-end support to businesses of all sizes and in all sectors. It is focussed on key UK markets outside London and currently operates from 14 offices located in Birmingham, Cheltenham, Chester, Crawley, Exeter, Leeds, Leicester, Maidstone, Manchester, Nottingham, Oxford, Stoke, Wilmslow and York.
This announcement is not for publication, distribution or release, directly or indirectly, in or into the United States of America (including its territories and possessions, any state of the United States and the District of Columbia) (collectively, the "United States"), Australia, Canada, Japan or the Republic of South Africa or any other jurisdiction where such an announcement would be unlawful. The distribution of this announcement may be restricted by law in certain jurisdictions and persons into whose possession this document or other information referred to herein comes should inform themselves about and observe any such restriction. Any failure to comply with these restrictions may constitute a violation of the securities laws of any such jurisdiction.
This announcement is not an offer of securities or investments for sale nor a solicitation of an offer to buy securities or investments in any jurisdiction where such offer or solicitation would be unlawful. No action has been taken that would permit an offering of the securities or possession or distribution of this announcement in any jurisdiction where action for that purpose is required. Persons into whose possession this announcement comes are required to inform themselves about and to observe any such restrictions.
The Placing Shares may not be offered to the public in any jurisdiction in circumstances which would require the preparation or registration of any prospectus or offering document relating to the Placing Shares in such jurisdiction. No action has been taken by Knights Group Holding plc or any of its respective affiliates that would permit an offering of the Placing Shares or possession or distribution of this announcement or any other offering or publicity material relating to such securities in any jurisdiction where action for that purpose is required.
The securities referred to herein have not been and will not be registered under the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the "Securities Act"), and may not be offered or sold, directly or indirectly, in or into the United States except pursuant to an exemption from, or in a transaction not subject to, the registration requirements of the Securities Act. Neither this document nor the information contained herein constitutes or forms part of an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy securities in the United States. There will be no public offer of any securities in the United States.
The Placing Shares have not been approved or disapproved by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, any state or other securities commission or other regulatory authority in the United States, and none of the foregoing authorities has passed upon or endorsed the merits of the Placing or the accuracy or adequacy of this announcement. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offence in the United States.
No prospectus, admission document or offering document has been or will be prepared in connection with the Placing. Any investment decision to buy securities in the Placing must be made solely on the basis of publicly available information. Such information is not the responsibility of and has not been independently verified by the Selling Shareholders, Numis or any of their respective affiliates.
No reliance may be placed, for any purposes whatsoever, on the information contained in this announcement or on its completeness and this announcement should not be considered a recommendation by the Company, the Selling Shareholders, Numis or any of their respective affiliates in relation to any purchase of or subscription for securities of the Company. No representation or warranty, express or implied, is given by or on behalf of the Company, the Selling Shareholders, Numis or any of their respective directors, partners, officers, employees, advisers or any other persons as to the accuracy, fairness or sufficiency of the information or opinions contained in this announcement and none of the information contained in this announcement has been independently verified. Save in the case of fraud, no liability is accepted for any errors, omissions or inaccuracies in such information or opinions.
Members of the public are not eligible to take part in the Placing. This Announcement and the information set out herein are for information purposes only and are directed at and may only be communicated to (a) in the European Economic Area ("EEA"), persons who are "qualified investors" within the meaning of Article 2(e) of Prospectus Regulation (Regulation (EU) 2017/1129); and (b) in the United Kingdom, at "qualified investors" within the meaning of Article 2(e) of the UK version of Prospectus Regulation (Regulation (EU) 2017/1129) which forms part of domestic law by virtue of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 who are also (i) persons having professional experience in matters relating to investments who fall within the definition of "investment professionals" in Article 19(5) of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Financial Promotion) Order 2005 (the "Order"); (ii) high net worth bodies corporate, unincorporated associations and partnerships and trustees of high value trusts as described in Article 49(2) of the Order; or (iii) persons to whom it may otherwise lawfully be communicated (all such persons together being referred to as "Relevant Persons").
Any investment or investment activity to which this Announcement relates is only available to, and will be engaged in only with, Relevant Persons. Persons distributing this Announcement must satisfy themselves that is lawful to do so.
This announcement does not purport to identify or suggest the risks (direct or indirect) which may be associated with an investment in Knights or its shares.
This announcement includes statements that are, or may be deemed to be, forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements may be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology, including the terms "intends", "expects", "will", or "may", or, in each case, their negative or other variations or comparable terminology, or by discussions of strategy, plans, objectives, goals, future events or intentions. These forward-looking statements include all matters that are not historical facts and include statements regarding intentions, beliefs or current expectations. No assurances can be given that the forward-looking statements in this announcement will be realised. As a result, no undue reliance should be placed on these forward-looking statements as a prediction of actual events or otherwise.
Numis, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the United Kingdom, is acting only for the Selling Shareholders in connection with the Placing and will not be responsible to anyone other than the Selling Shareholders for providing the protections offered to the clients of Numis, nor for providing advice in relation to the Placing or any matters referred to in this announcement, and apart from the responsibilities and liabilities (if any) imposed on Numis by the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000, any liability therefore is expressly disclaimed. Any other person in receipt of this announcement should seek their own independent legal, investment and tax advice as they see fit.
References to time in this announcement are to London time, unless otherwise stated. All times and dates in this announcement may be subject to amendment.
Neither the content of the Company's website nor any website accessible by hyperlinks on the Company's website is incorporated in, or forms part of, this announcement.
Information to Distributors
Solely for the purposes of the product governance requirements contained within: (a) EU Directive 2014/65/EU on markets in financial instruments, as amended ("MiFID II"); (b) Articles 9 and 10 of Commission Delegated Directive (EU) 2017/593 supplementing MiFID II; and (c) local implementing measures (together, the "MiFID II Product Governance Requirements"), and disclaiming all and any liability, whether arising in tort, contract or otherwise, which any "manufacturer" (for the purposes of the MiFID II Product Governance Requirements) may otherwise have with respect thereto, the Placing Shares have been subject to a product approval process, which has determined that the Placing Shares are: (i) compatible with an end target market of (a) retail investors, (b) investors who meet the criteria of professional clients and (c) eligible counterparties, each as defined in MiFID II; and (ii) eligible for distribution through all distribution channels as are permitted by MiFID II (the "Target Market Assessment"). Notwithstanding the Target Market Assessment, distributors should note that: the price of the Placing Shares may decline and investors could lose all or part of their investment; the Placing Shares offer no guaranteed income and no capital protection; and an investment in the Placing Shares is compatible only with investors who do not need a guaranteed income or capital protection, who (either alone or in conjunction with an appropriate financial or other adviser) are capable of evaluating the merits and risks of such an investment and who have sufficient resources to be able to bear any losses that may result therefrom. The Target Market Assessment is without prejudice to the requirements of any contractual, legal or regulatory selling restrictions in relation to the Placing. Furthermore, it is noted that, notwithstanding the Target Market Assessment, Numis will only procure investors who meet the criteria of professional clients and eligible counterparties.
For the avoidance of doubt, the Target Market Assessment does not constitute: (a) an assessment of suitability or appropriateness for the purposes of MiFID II; or (b) a recommendation to any investor or group of investors to invest in, or purchase, or take any other action whatsoever with respect to the Placing Shares.
Each distributor is responsible for undertaking its own target market assessment in respect of the Placing Shares and determining appropriate distribution channels.