05 May 2016

Stephenson Harwood advises Hotel Chocolat on IPO

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International law firm Stephenson Harwood LLP has advised Hotel Chocolat Group plc on its initial public offering (IPO) and successful £167 million flotation on AIM.

“Hotel Chocolat is a fantastic company which is reflected in the very positive way this listing has been received by investors,” said Stephenson Harwood partner Tom Nicholls, who lead the team. “Despite tough market conditions, demand has been very strong which is testament to the strength of the brand, products and management team. This is our third completed IPO since January and hopefully bodes well for two further IPOs we are advising on that are also looking to complete by the end of this month.”

The Stephenson Harwood team was led by corporate finance partner Tom Nicholls along with client relationship partner Andrew McLean, with support from incentives partner Barbara Allen and corporate associates Tom Page, Gabrielle Pugh and Michelle Gomes. It advised Hotel Chocolat on all aspects of its IPO which involved a corporate restructuring and conditional placing of new and existing ordinary shares with institutional and other investors to raise gross proceeds of approximately £43.5 million on behalf of the founders and senior management and £12 million on behalf of the Company. The market capitalisation on admission to trading on AIM will be £167 million.

Hotel Chocolat, a long standing client of Stephenson Harwood, is a premium British chocolatier and omni-channel retailer, founded by CEO Angus Thirwell and Peter Harris in 1993. The company started as a chocolate gifting service in 1993 and today employs more than 1,200 people, has 84 shops, a cocoa-themed restaurant in London, a hotel on its cocoa plantation in St Lucia and a dedicated UK manufacturing plant in Cambridge.

Liberum Capital Limited acted as Nomad and Broker to Hotel Chocolat and was advised by Travers Smith.

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Tom Nicholls

Tom Nicholls
Partner

T:  +44 20 7809 2555 M:  +44 7843 517 965 Email Tom | Vcard Office:  London

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