Tech firm backed by Hearts owner Ann Budge lined up as first Scots market flotation in two years

A West Lothian technology business whose investors include Hearts owner Ann Budge is to become the first Scottish stock market flotation in two years.

Tommy Cook is the founder and chief executive of Calnex Solutions, which is headquartered in Linlithgow in West Lothian. Picture: Peter Devlin
Tommy Cook is the founder and chief executive of Calnex Solutions, which is headquartered in Linlithgow in West Lothian. Picture: Peter Devlin

Calnex Solutions, which is headquartered in Linlithgow and provides test instrumentation equipment to some of the world’s biggest telecoms companies, is to list on London’s Alternative Investment Market having raised £22.5 million from investors.

The company is likely to have a valuation of £42m when it joins the market on 5 October.

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Investors in Calnex include Scottish Enterprise and Hearts chairman Budge. George Elliott, the former chairman of Craneware and a former non-executive director at Indigovision, is chair of the Calnex board.

Founder and chief executive Tommy Cook said: “The telecommunications industry is going through unprecedented levels of change, presenting exciting opportunities for the expansion of the business.

“Having demonstrated sustained growth since inception, the move onto the public markets will provide us with new capital, a raised profile and enhanced ability to execute on acquisitions, as we seek to capture an increased share of the growing market for telecoms test solutions.”

He added: “We would like to thank our existing shareholders for their ongoing support and welcome our new shareholders at this exciting time for the company.”

Set up in 2006, Calnex has worked at more than 600 customer sites in 68 countries for companies such as BT, Ericsson, Facebook and Intel.

The company has additional locations in Belfast, Northern Ireland and California in the US, supported by sales teams in China and India. There is also a global network of partners, providing a worldwide distribution capability.

Cenkos Securities is acting as nominated advisor and broker to the firm.

Jennifer Malcolm, legal director and corporate finance specialist at Pinsent Masons, said: “The announcement that Calnex is to float is excellent news for Scottish businesses thinking of pursuing a similar route to raising capital, and it may prove to be the ‘unblocker’ which encourages other listings to follow.”

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In June, Calnex said it was pushing ahead with its growth plans despite the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic. It operates an office in Belfast following its acquisition of JAR Technologies in March 2018.

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