MMSI gears up for summer Aim flotation

Deloitte & Touche appointed as main advisor

By Paul Rogerson

Marketing Management Services International, the strategic marketing consultant, has appointed a main advisor for its planned summer flotation.

MMSI has recently retained Deloitte & Touche to advise on the Alternative Investment Market float, which it hopes will raise funds to fuel its ambitious expansion plans.

The Glasgow business has stepped us its fundraising efforts because it wants to "piggyback" on the anticipated flotation this year of Accenture, formerly Anderson Consulting.

MMSI's managing director, Gerald Michaluk, hopes Accenture's float will generate interest among institutions which are sceptical about investing in a industry whose revenues can be volatile.

He will meet Aim officials next week before making a decision on whether to float 20% to 30% of the business.

Accenture insiders expect it to list on the New York Stock Exchange in mid-July. Partners there are keen to start the clock ticking on an eight-year "lock-in" clause on selling shares. Mr Michaluk has, therefore, brought forward MMSI's float from the end of the year.

"We're desperate to get confirmation that Accenture will go in July", he said. "If they do, we have a huge amount of work to do."

Mr Michaluk believes that it could take 120 days of senior management time to prepare the company for an Aim float. He admitted that MMSI is unlikely to be ready for a mid-July listing but would hope to float soon after.

"Everybody has advised us against rushing it. The earliest we could go is the end of July or August, which is not perfect for us", he said.

MMSI's float would be a welcome boost to the Scottish quoted sector which as seen a fall-off in new entrants this year. So far Halladale, the property business, has been the only company to float. The television production business Picardy Media had been due to float this spring but has put its plans off until later this year.

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