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18 October 2017

Touchstone acquisition becomes unconditional

Commercialisation firm IP Group has firm acceptances for around 97% of Touchstone’s share capital and will compulsorily purchase the rest.

Author: Callum Cyrus, reporter

UK-based commercialisation firm IP Group has obtained enough shareholder approvals to make the offer for its peer Touchstone Innovations, a spinout from Imperial College London, unconditional.

IP Group has received firm acceptances equivalent to approximately 97% of Touchstone’s share capital, including for a 39% stake held by Invesco Asset Management, an investor in both firms.

The news follows yesterday’s decision by the UK’s Competition & Market Authority to not conduct an in-depth phase 2 investigation into the deal.

IP Group has made an all-share offer worth approximately £490m ($646.6m) for Touchstone – 2.2178 IP Group shares for each Touchstone share. The bid was increased in July 2017 from the original 2.1575 IP Group share offer, but Touchstone’s board has continued to insist the price is too low.

Touchstone and IP Group shareholders will, respectively, own 34% and 66% of the combined entity.

Investors who have already accepted IP Group’s offer should receive new shares within 14 days, and IP Group is to start compulsory purchase proceedings for the rest as permitted under UK takeover law.

Alan Aubrey, CEO of IP Group, said: “The combination of IP Group and Touchstone Innovations creates a clear market leader and a company with the scale to help create, build and support the very best world-changing businesses.

“The enlarged group is well-funded and will benefit from both critical mass and a balanced portfolio and we look forward to working with our new colleagues.”

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