South West to Host Newest Stock Exchange Conference

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Financial and legal experts from across the South West have joined forces to host the first ever seminar in the region by the UK’s newest stock exchange PLUS, which is dedicated to the needs of growing companies.

Organised by Coodes law firm and supported by Finance Cornwall, Finance South West, Bishop Fleming and Dowgate Capital Advisers, this unique event will take place at the South West Regional Development Agency offices at North Quay House, Sutton Harbour, Plymouth, on Wednesday 3 September (2.15pm – 4.15pm).

South West business owners attending the event will hear from Paul Haddock, of PLUS Markets, who will discuss how PLUS can help local companies access the deep pools of capital available through this new stock market. Jonathan Wilde, senior commercial lawyer at Coodes, will also explain the legal aspects of preparation, admission and flotation on the PLUS exchange.

“PLUS presents a cost effective means of accessing a public trading platform with a view to raising money or simply an introduction,” said Jonathan. “It is also ideal for family-owned companies spanning two or more generations, providing a variety of expansion, management and exit options.”

Rob Seymour, from Finance Cornwall, will introduce the seminar and be on hand to answer questions business owners may have about venture capital investments in small and medium sized enterprises. Rob is Managing Director of Finance Cornwall Fund Managers Limited which manages funds for Finance Cornwall and Finance South West, part-funded by the EU through the Objective One and Two programmes respectively. He is a strong advocate of PLUS and the benefits it can bring to the region’s businesses and is keen to spread the word that other help is also available – Finance Cornwall and Finance South West have now invested £26.7m in 220 South West businesses, levering £64m into the region’s economy.

Rob commented: “The credit crunch and recent turmoil in financial markets has made for great uncertainty in raising funds for growing and developing businesses. Although funds like Finance Cornwall and Finance South West are available to provide risk capital for certain types of investment proposal, it is clear that we cannot be there for all comers. Local enterprises should also be attracting capital from other sources such as recognised investment exchanges like PLUS.”

Paul Haddock of PLUS, adds: “There is still demand for IPOs (Initial Public Offering) of well-run growth companies. In fact, our PLUS-quoted market, designed for such growth companies, is enjoying robust primary activity in M&A (Mergers and Acquisitions) fundraising. We are providing a home for these companies looking for cost effective and straightforward access to London’s capital markets.”

Other local speakers include Bishop Fleming’s Jonathan Williams, who will discuss the role of the corporate advisor and reporting accountant, and David Newton, from Dowgate Capital Advisers, who specialises in advising small to midsize companies seeking to raise capital on PLUS, AIM and the Official List.

Notes to Editors:

Finance Cornwall is a £20m venture investment fund targeting small and medium sized enterprises in this region with a range of equity, mezzanine and debt capital. Finance Cornwall can lend or invest from £20,000 to £1 million per business and, to date, has invested £15 million in 129 businesses; levering £38 million into the Cornish economy, creating over 313 jobs and safeguarding 1,280. It is part funded by the EU through the Objective One Programme for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

Finance Cornwall’s funds are administered by Finance Cornwall Fund Managers Limited; an investment company authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority registered in England and Wales, number 05010380, registered address 14 High Cross, Truro, Cornwall, TR1 2AJ.

For further information visit: www.financecornwall.co.uk

Finance South West, which is part funded by the EU through the Objective Two Programme for the South West, is an £18 million investment fund targeting small and medium sized enterprises in this region with a range of equity, mezzanine and debt capital. Finance South West can provide commercial finance from £10,000 up to £1 million for buying, starting or growing a business in the Objective Two area of the South West. It has now invested £11.6 million in 86 businesses in the region, levering over £26 million into the South West economy and creating or safeguarding 872 jobs.

For further information visit: www.financesouthwest.co.uk

Coodes Solicitors offers specialist, professional legal services in the following sectors: Agricultural, Commercial Litigation, Company, Commercial Property, Residential Property, Crime, Private Client, Employment, Family and Personal Injury. The firm employs more than 100 staff and 19 partners across its seven offices in Cornwall and Devon.

Coodes was established in 1747 and with offices in Penzance, Truro, St Austell, Newquay, Launceston, Liskeard and Holsworthy, has the largest geographical spread of any professional firm in Cornwall. For more information go to: www.coodes.co.uk.

PLUS Markets Group plc is a competitive small and mid-cap stock exchange in the UK, operating both primary and secondary markets, and offering trading services in some 7,500 UK and European equity securities. Its PLUS-quoted market currently serves some 220 companies with a combined market capitalisation in excess of £2 billion and is experiencing strong demand in 2008, with fundraising levels 38% ahead of the same period in 2007.

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