A Guernsey-based investment fund is anticipated to become the
second largest listing on London's Alternative Investment
Market (AIM) this year.
Burford Capital is aiming to raise £200m ($318m) in an
initial public offering (IPO) to finance commercial litigation in
It plans to start trading shares on AIM on or around 16
Peter Niven, Chief Executive of Guernsey Finance – the
promotional agency for the Island's finance industry, said:
"It is great for Guernsey that we are able to secure such
substantial and noteworthy business at a time when flows are
generally quite low. Having said that, local industry practitioners
have been reporting increased flows in recent months and perhaps
this is a further indication of improving market conditions.
"Certainly the launch of this fund and its listing on AIM
will be a great boost to the Island's confidence. It shows how
our continued promotion of the Island means that promoters and
sponsors are confident of the expertise and infrastructure that we
have in place to look after their business."
London Stock Exchange (LSE) research shows that more investment
funds from Guernsey were listed on its main market and AIM during
2008 than any other jurisdiction. Guernsey (15) was only marginally
ahead of the UK (13) but considerably in advance of the rest of the
Burford Capital is a limited liability, closed-ended investment
company registered in Guernsey. The local fund administrators are
International Administration Guernsey (IAG) with legal counsel
being provided by Ogier and the auditors are
Ray Page, Managing Director of IAG, said: "We are looking
forward to working with Burford and their highly regarded team and
to utilising our significant AIM experience to support what is
anticipated to be the second largest listing on the exchange this
Burford Capital has a Board of Directors that includes the
former HM Treasury official and Group Chairman of Barclays Bank
plc, Sir Peter Middleton as Chairman. The company will fund the
cost of litigation or arbitration, agreeing with its corporate
client a percentage share of any awards which are made at the end
of a case.
Burford Group will act as the investment adviser to the company.
Its principals are Selvyn Seidel, a former senior partner at law
firm Latham & Watkins and Christopher Bogart, a former general
counsel at Time Warner Inc. They believe that there are more
commercial disputes in an economic downturn, while the ability of
claimants to fund lawsuits diminishes.
Christopher Bogart, Principal of the Burford Group, said:
"We are delighted to be creating a new listed fund for
investors seeking access to dispute finance, an asset class capable
of generating highly attractive returns irrespective of the
performance of equity markets. Third-party commercial dispute
finance is a high growth market, helping plaintiffs or defendants
get civil justice."
Fox-Pitt Kelton Cochran Caronia Waller LLC is managing the IPO,
along with Execution Ltd.
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