MMS advises on two groundbreaking IPOs in two weeks

Claire Armstrong

Maclay Murray & Spens LLP (MMS) earlier this month saw the bell ring at the London Stock Exchange for the IPO of Downing Strategic Micro-Cap Investment Trust raising more than £55 million.

MMS was the legal adviser behind the design and launch of asset manager Downing’s first investment trust, which is targeting returns of 15 per cent in the long term by focusing on a concentrated portfolio of 12 to18 UK listed micro-cap companies in line with the group’s signature private equity approach.

Downing lead and AAA rated manager, Judith MacKenzie, said: “We enjoyed working closely with the MMS team in preparing the fund for its launch over a very short period of time, with kick-off to admission in just under five months. We were impressed throughout by their professionalism, continued commitment and solutions-focussed approach, something unusual in lawyers.”

Claire Armstrong, a partner in MMS’ Financial Services practice (pictured) involved in advising Downing, said: “Following an intensive marketing period of over 120 meetings, the company raised £55.6m, beating both its minimum fund raising target of £35m and the initial fund raises of its closest micro-cap investment trust competitors.

“It was a pleasure to accompany the Downing team on this journey, and we look forward to assisting the board and manager to grow the trust successfully in the future, as I’m sure they will.”

MMS is acting currently on the IPO of The PRS REIT plc, a real estate investment trust focussed on the private rented sector, backed by the UK government, expected to be the first of its kind and seeking to raise £250m on the specialist fund segment of the LSE.

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