Results of Placing and Subscription

03 September 2020

THIS ANNOUNCEMENT IS RESTRICTED AND IS NOT FOR RELEASE, PUBLICATION, DISTRIBUTION OR FORWARDING, IN WHOLE OR IN PART, DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY, IN, INTO OR FROM THE UNITED STATES, AUSTRALIA, CANADA, JAPAN, NEW ZEALAND OR THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA OR ANY OTHER JURISDICTION IN WHICH SUCH RELEASE, PUBLICATION OR DISTRIBUTION WOULD BE UNLAWFUL.

THIS ANNOUNCEMENT IS FOR INFORMATION PURPOSES ONLY AND DOES NOT CONSTITUTE OR CONTAIN ANY INVITATION, SOLICITATION, RECOMMENDATION, OFFER OR ADVICE TO ANY PERSON TO SUBSCRIBE FOR, OTHERWISE ACQUIRE OR DISPOSE OF ANY SECURITIES IN RPS GROUP PLC OR ANY OTHER ENTITY IN ANY JURISDICTION. NEITHER THIS ANNOUNCEMENT NOR THE FACT OF ITS DISTRIBUTION SHALL FORM THE BASIS OF, OR BE RELIED ON IN CONNECTION WITH, ANY INVESTMENT DECISION IN RESPECT OF RPS GROUP PLC.

THIS ANNOUNCEMENT CONTAINS INSIDE INFORMATION FOR THE PURPOSES OF ARTICLE 7 OF REGULATION 596/2014 ("MAR").

 

The Board of RPS, the leading multi-sector global professional services firm, is pleased to announce the completion of the placing announced earlier today (the “Placing”).

A total of 44,625,417 new ordinary shares of 3 pence each (the “Placing Shares”) were placed by Numis Securities Limited (“Numis”) and Liberum Capital Limited (“Liberum”, together with Numis, the “Joint Bookrunners”) at a price of 44 pence per share (the “Placing Price”) to certain existing shareholders and other institutional investors.

Concurrent with the Placing, certain of the directors of the Company have agreed to subscribe for 1,255,948 new ordinary shares of 3 pence each (the "Subscription Shares") at the Placing Price (the "Subscription").

Together, the Placing and Subscription of 45,881,365 new ordinary shares of 3 pence each raised gross proceeds of approximately £20.2 million. The Placing Price represents a premium of approximately 15.8 per cent to the closing share price of 38 pence on 2 September 2020 and a discount of approximately 1.6 per cent to the 1 month volume weighted average price of 44.7 pence. The Placing Shares and Subscription Shares being issued represent together approximately 19.9 per cent of the existing issued ordinary share capital of the Company prior to the Placing and Subscription.

Commenting on the Placing, John Douglas, Chief Executive Officer, said:

“On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank our existing and new shareholders for their support in this placing. The new funds raised today, coupled with the amendments to our banking facilities, will provide the flexibility to continue to appropriately match capacity to the longer-term market opportunities without losing key capability and position the Group to capitalise on future growth opportunities.”

Director participation

Further details of Directors participation via the Subscription are set out below.

Director

Number of Subscription Shares to be Subscribed

Shareholding following the Subscription

Shareholding following the Subscription as a % of Enlarged Issued Share Capital

Ken Lever

56,818

126,818

0.05%

John Douglas

1,136,363

1,813,780

0.66%

Judith Cottrell

13,636

24,635

0.01%

Liz Peace

11,363

18,363

0.01%

Catherine Glickman

34,090

55,590

0.02%

Allison Bainbridge

3,678

22,078

0.01%

 

Applications have been made to the Financial Conduct Authority (the "FCA") and the London Stock Exchange plc (the "LSE") respectively for the admission of the Placing Shares and the Subscription Shares to the premium listing segment of the Official List of the FCA and to trading on the main market for listed securities of the LSE (together, "Admission"). It is expected that Admission will become effective on or before 8.00 a.m. on 8 September 2020. The Placing is conditional upon, amongst other things, Admission becoming effective and upon the Placing agreement between the Joint Bookrunners and the Company not being terminated in accordance with its terms. The Subscription is conditional upon Admission.

The Placing Shares and Subscription Shares, when issued, will be fully paid and will rank pari passu in all respects with each other and with the existing Ordinary Shares, including, without limitation, the right to receive all dividends and other distributions declared, made or paid after the date of issue.

Following Admission, the total number of shares in issue in the Company will be 275,402,954. Therefore, following Admission, the total number of voting shares in the Company in issue will be 275,402,954. This figure may be used by shareholders as the denominator for the calculations by which they will determine if they are required to notify their interest in, or a change to their interest in, the Company under the FCA's Disclosure Guidance and Transparency Rules.

Smaller related party transaction

John Douglas, Chief Executive, is considered to be a related party for the purposes of the Listing Rules and has agreed to subscribe for 1,136,363 Subscription Shares, at an aggregate price of approximately £500,000. The participation in the Subscription by John Douglas constitutes a "smaller" related party transaction and falls within Listing Rule 11.1.10 R and this announcement is therefore made in accordance with Listing Rule 11.1.10R(2)(c).

 

For further information:

RPS Group plc
John Douglas, Chief Executive
Judith Cottrell, Finance Director
Tel: +44 (0) 1235 863 206
www.rpsgroup.com


Numis (Joint Bookrunner and Joint Corporate Broker) Tel: +44 (0)20 7260 1000
Heraclis Economides / Julian Cater
Jamie Loughborough / George Price



Liberum (Joint Bookrunner and Joint Corporate Broker) Tel: +44 (0) 20 3100 2000
Robert Morton / John Fishley


Buchanan
Henry Harrison-Topham / Chris Lane / Tilly Abraham Tel: +44 (0) 20 7466 5000
[email protected] www.buchanan.uk.com

 

Market soundings (as defined in MAR) were taken in respect of the Placing with the result that certain persons became aware of inside information (as defined in MAR), as permitted by MAR. This inside information is set out in this Announcement. Therefore, those persons that received inside information in a market sounding are no longer in possession of such inside information relating to the Company and its securities.

The person responsible for releasing this announcement is David Gormley, Company Secretary.

 

Notes to Editors

Founded in 1970, RPS is a leading global professional services firm of 5,000 consultants and service providers. Having operated in 125 countries across six continents RPS defines, designs and manages projects that create shared value for a complex, urbanising and resource scarce world.

RPS delivers a broad range of services in six sectors: property, energy, transport, water, defence and government services and resources. Services provided across RPS’ six sectors cover twelve service clusters: project and programme management, design and development, water services, environment, advisory and management consulting, exploration and development, planning and approvals, health, safety and risk, oceans and coastal, laboratories, training and communications, creative & digital services.

RPS stands out for its clients by using its deep expertise to solve problems that matter, making them easy to understand. Making complex easy.

RPS’ London Stock Exchange ticker is RPS.L. For further information, please visit www.rpsgroup.com.

 

This Announcement should be read in its entirety. In particular, you should read and understand the information provided in the "Important Notices" section below.

IMPORTANT NOTICES

Neither this Announcement, nor any copy of it, may be taken or transmitted, published or distributed, directly or indirectly, in or into the United States, Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand or the Republic of South Africa or to any persons in any of those jurisdictions or any other jurisdiction where to do so would constitute a violation of the relevant securities laws of such jurisdiction. This Announcement is for information purposes only and does not constitute an offer to sell or issue, or the solicitation of an offer to buy, acquire or subscribe for any shares in the capital of the Company in the United States, Australia, Canada, Japan or the Republic of South Africa or any other state or jurisdiction in which such offer or solicitation is not authorised or to any person to whom it is unlawful to make such offer or solicitation. Any failure to comply with these restrictions may constitute a violation of securities laws of such jurisdictions.

The Placing Shares have not been, and will not be, registered under the US Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the "US Securities Act"), or under any securities laws of any state or other jurisdiction of the United States and may not be offered, sold, resold, transferred or delivered, directly or indirectly, in or into the United States except pursuant to an applicable exemption from the registration requirements of the US Securities Act and in compliance with the securities laws of any state or other jurisdiction of the United States.

There is no intention to register any portion of the Placing in the United States or to conduct any public offering of securities in the United States or elsewhere. All offers of Placing Shares will be made pursuant to an exemption under the Regulation (EU) 2017/1129 (the "Prospectus Regulation") as amended from time to time from the requirement to produce a prospectus. No prospectus will be made available in connection with the matters contained in this Announcement and no such prospectus is required (in accordance with the Prospectus Regulation) to be published. Persons needing advice should consult an independent financial adviser.

Members of the public are not eligible to take part in the Placing. This Announcement are for information purposes only and are directed only at persons whose ordinary activities involve them in acquiring, holding, managing and disposing of investments (as principal or agent) for the purposes of their business and who have professional experience in matters relating to investments and are: (a) if in a Member State of the Economic European Area (the “EEA”) qualified investors within the meaning of article 2(e) of the Prospectus Regulation ("Qualified Investors"); or (b) if in the United Kingdom, Qualified Investors who (i) are persons who have professional experience in matters relating to investments falling within the definition of "investments professional" in article 19(5) of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Financial Promotion) Order 2005, as amended (the "Order"); (ii) are persons falling within article 49(2)(a) to (d) ("high net worth companies, unincorporated associations, etc") of the Order; or (c) are persons to whom it may otherwise be lawfully communicated; (all such persons referred to in (a), (b) and (c) above together being referred to as "Relevant Persons"). This Announcement must not be acted on or relied on by persons who are not Relevant Persons. Any investment or investment activity to which this Announcement relates is available only to Relevant Persons and will be engaged in only with Relevant Persons.

The distribution of this Announcement and the offering of the Placing Shares in certain jurisdictions may be restricted by law. No action has been taken by the Company, Numis, Liberum, any of their respective partners, directors, officers, employees, advisers, consultants, affiliates or agents that would permit an offering of such shares or possession or distribution of this Announcement or any other offering or publicity material relating to such shares in any jurisdiction where action for that purpose is required. Persons into whose possession this Announcement comes are required by the Company, Numis and Liberum to inform themselves about, and to observe, such restrictions.

This Announcement is not being distributed by, nor has it been approved for the purposes of section 21 of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000, as amended ("FSMA"), by a person authorised under FSMA. This Announcement is being distributed to persons in the United Kingdom only in circumstances in which section 21(1) of FSMA does not apply.

Persons (including without limitation, nominees and trustees) who have a contractual right or other legal obligations to forward a copy of this Announcement should seek appropriate advice before taking any action.

This Announcement has been issued by, and is the sole responsibility of, the Company. No representation or warranty, express or implied, is or will be made by Numis or Liberum, or by any of their partners, directors, officers, employees, advisers, consultants, affiliates or agents as to or in relation to, the accuracy or completeness of this Announcement or any other written or oral information made available to any interested person or their advisers, and any liability therefore is expressly disclaimed. None of the information in this Announcement has been independently verified or approved by Numis or Liberum or any of their partners, directors, officers, employees, advisers, consultants, affiliates or agents. Save for any responsibilities or liabilities, if any, imposed on Numis and Liberum by FSMA or by the regulator regime established under it, no responsibility or liability is accepted by Numis or Liberum or any of their partners, directors, officers, employees, advisers, consultants, affiliates or agents for any errors, omissions or inaccuracies in such information or opinions or for any loss, cost or damage suffered or incurred howsoever arising, directly or indirectly, from any use of this Announcement or its contents or otherwise in connection with this Announcement or from any acts or omissions of the Company in relation to the Placing.

Numis, which is authorised and regulated in the United Kingdom by the FCA, is acting solely for the Company and no-one else in connection with the transactions and arrangements described in this Announcement and will not regard any other person (whether or not a recipient of this Announcement) as a client in relation to the transactions and arrangements described in this Announcement. Neither Numis, its partners, directors, officers, employees, advisers, consultants, affiliates or agents are responsible to anyone other than the Company for providing the protections afforded to clients of Numis or for providing advice in connection with the contents of this Announcement or for any other matters referred to herein.

Liberum, which is authorised and regulated in the United Kingdom by the FCA, is acting solely for the Company and no-one else in connection with the transactions and arrangements described in this Announcement and will not regard any other person (whether or not a recipient of this Announcement) as a client in relation to the transactions and arrangements described in this Announcement. Neither Liberum, its partners, directors, officers, employees, advisers, consultants, affiliates or agents are responsible to anyone other than the Company for providing the protections afforded to clients of Liberum or for providing advice in connection with the contents of this Announcement or for any other matters referred to herein.

Cautionary statements

This Announcement may contain and the Company may make verbal statements containing "forward-looking statements" with respect to certain of the Company's plans and its current goals and expectations relating to its future financial condition, performance, strategic initiatives, objectives and results. Forward-looking statements sometimes use words such as "aim", "anticipate", "target", "expect", "estimate", "intend", "plan", "goal", "believe", "seek", "may", "could", "outlook" or other words of similar meaning. By their nature, all forward-looking statements involve risk and uncertainty because they relate to future events and circumstances which are beyond the control of the Company. As a result, the actual future financial condition, performance and results of the Company may differ materially from the plans, goals and expectations set forth in any forward-looking statements. Any forward-looking statements made in this Announcement by or on behalf of the Company speak only as of the date they are made. The information contained in this Announcement is subject to change without notice and except as required by applicable law or regulation (including to meet the requirements of the Listing Rules, MAR, the Prospectus Regulation Rules and/or FSMA), the Company expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking to publish any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statements contained in this Announcement to reflect any changes in the Company's expectations with regard thereto or any changes in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statements are based. Such forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that could significantly affect expected results and are based on certain key assumptions. Many factors could cause actual results, performance or achievements to differ materially from those projected or implied in any forward-looking statements. The important factors that could cause the Company’s actual results, performance or achievements to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements include, among others, economic and business cycles, the terms and conditions of the Company’s financing arrangements, foreign currency rate fluctuations, competition in the Company’s principal markets, acquisitions or disposals of businesses or assets and trends in the Company’s principal industries. Statements contained in this Announcement regarding past trends or activities should not be taken as representation that such trends or activities will continue in the future. You should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this Announcement.

No statement in this Announcement is intended to be a profit forecast and no statement in this Announcement should be interpreted to mean that earnings per share of the Company for the current or future years would necessarily match or exceed the historical published earnings per share of the Company.

This Announcement does not identify or suggest, or purport to identify or suggest, the risks (direct or indirect) that may be associated with an investment in the Placing Shares. Any investment decisions to buy Placing Shares in the Placing must be made solely on the basis of publicly available information, which has not been independently verified by Numis or Liberum.

This Announcement does not constitute a recommendation concerning any investor's investment decision with respect to the Placing. The price of shares and any income expected from them may go down as well as up and investors may not get back the full amount invested upon disposal of the shares. Past performance is no guide to future performance. The contents of this Announcement are not to be construed as legal, business, financial or tax advice. Each investor or prospective investor should consult his, her or its own legal adviser, business adviser, financial adviser or tax adviser for legal, financial, business or tax advice.

In connection with the Placing, Numis and/or Liberum and their respective partners, directors, officers, employees, advisers, consultants, affiliates or agents may take up a portion of the shares of the Company in the Placing in a principal position and in that capacity may retain, purchase or sell for its own account such shares and other securities of the Company or related investments and may offer or sell such shares, securities or other investments otherwise than in connection with the Placing. Accordingly, references in this Announcement to Placing Shares being issued, offered or placed should be read as including any issue, offering or placement of such shares in the Company to Numis and/or Liberum and any of their respective partners, directors, officers, employees, advisers, consultants, affiliates or agents as, acting in such capacity. In addition, Numis and/or Liberum, any of their respective partners, directors, officers, employees, advisers, consultants, affiliates or agents may enter into financing arrangements (including swaps, warrants or contracts for difference) with investors in connection with which Numis and/or Liberum and any of their respective partners, directors, officers, employees, advisers, consultants, affiliates or agents may from time to time acquire, hold or dispose of such securities of the Company, including the Placing Shares. Neither Numis nor Liberum, nor any of their respective partners, directors, officers, employees, advisers, consultants, affiliates or agents intends to disclose the extent of any such investment or transactions otherwise than in accordance with any legal or regulatory obligation to do so.

The Placing Shares to be issued pursuant to the Placing will not be admitted to trading on any stock exchange other than the London Stock Exchange plc.

Neither the content of the Company's website (or any other website) nor the content of any website accessible from hyperlinks on the Company's website (or any other website) is incorporated into or forms part of this Announcement.

This Announcement has been prepared for the purposes of complying with applicable law and regulation in the United Kingdom and the information disclosed may not be the same as that which would have been disclosed if this Announcement had been prepared in accordance with the laws and regulations of any jurisdiction outside the United Kingdom.

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 retail investors and investors who meet the criteria of professional clients and 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 and Liberum 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.