STJ Advisors acted as independent advisor to the company and Oaktree Capital on the £349m IPO of Countryside Properties, a leading UK home builder and urban regeneration partner. Despite some of the worst equity market conditions in years, Countryside managed to price its IPO at a premium to the sector, with a market cap of £1 billion. STJ has continued its 100% completion success rate (4 IPOs and 6 Follow-on offerings) during an extended period of volatility that has seen an EMEA IPO failure rate of 46% since the summer (and 6 European IPOs pulled in 2016).
Countryside’s positive aftermarket trading on low volumes compared favourably to the difficult IPO background for other recent IPOs and reflected the ability to build a supportive and quality shareholder base of “true believers”, starting well ahead of the offering, that were prepared to invest despite the volatile market backdrop. Key aspects of STJ’s advice included (1) An extensive early marketing program - with 5 rounds of Early Look investor meetings prior to IPO launch, site visits and a dedicated investor seminar on the Partnerships Division, with Early look investors allocated 61% of the total offering; (2) Motivation and empowerment of a highly qualified and well-co-ordinated bank syndicate which educated a wide base of investors; (3) Flexibility on the key aspects of the IPO such as timing and sizing (with a flexible 30-50% offer size); and (4) Targeting of all pockets of investor demand both geographically and by investor category, with a strong result in the retail offering.