Velocity looks to stock market to raise £14m

Burnley-based Velocity Composites is hoping to raise up to £14.4m by floating on the Alternative Investment Market this week.

Non-executive chairman Mark Malls is spearheading the project. He is best-known as the founder and chief executive of AIM-listed cash machine operator Cardpoint, which he ran from 1999 to 2006.

Mark, who is based in Lytham St Annes, has a long track record of helping businesses to build value.

He was chairman of Deeside-based Tactical Solutions UK when it was sold to St Ives in 2011, and was chairman of Preston-based Garside and Laycock Group until its sale to SPIE Group in 2012.

Currently he runs the Mark Mills Partnership advising companies on their growth strategies and efficiency improvements. Since 2013, he has been non-executive chairman of LDC-backed pipeline inspection equipment specialist Mini-Cam, which is based in Warrington.

He joined the board of Velocity in 2015 and became chairman last year.

Velocity makes advanced composite products for the aerospace industry. The company, which was founded in 2007 by Jon Bridges, Chris Banks and Gerard Johnson, achieved revenues of £14.6m in 2016 and adjusted pre-tax profits of £300,000.

It employs nearly 100 staff across its headquarters in Burnley and a site in Fareham, Hampshire. Shares are expected to begin trading on Thursday. Velocity’s market capitalisation on admission will be £30.4m.

Mark said: “Velocity is a great business. Its model is predicated on helping manufacturers to save time and material costs, and therefore money, while also allowing them to concentrate on their core business to help increase production rates.

“Having helped to identify growth opportunities for Velocity, the team recognises the need to open additional facilities around the world over the next five to 10 years.

“Realising that funding would be required, the suggestion of a flotation accords in this instance with customers and suppliers who appreciate that a market listing offers transparency, access to capital, long-term sustainability and even greater corporate governance.

“I am looking forward to my return to the city on the board of a public company. I’ve always enjoyed interacting with the city and particularly the feedback from seasoned investment professionals who can add value as shareholders.

“While in the last few years I have mainly worked with companies seeking a transition of ownership, Velocity required a solution for additional funding and a long-term plan to meet its customers’ demands. “It was warmly greeted in the city when I introduced it, and the investors all run long-term funds which suits the company, as it will be able to meet any future potential funding requirements as it expands further.”