The offer sees the employee trust gaining majority ownership of Avidity for the benefit of its employees.
Headquartered in the Midlands, Avidity IP is a firm of European Patent and Trade Mark attorneys with offices and specialist teams located in Birmingham, Stratford-upon-Avon, the East of England (Cambridge) and the Thames Valley.
Shareholders are being offered an initial 8.5p per Avidity share plus an earnout based on the performance of the company over the next three years. The independent chairman of Avidity, Sam Wauchope, is recommending the cash offer.
The Avidity Employee Ownership Trust Limited (“AEOTL”) is funding the initial consideration under the offer with facilities provided by Idea Catalyst Limited (“ICL”) an existing shareholder of Avidity.
The offer from AEOTL whilst providing the two major shareholders of Avidity with an exit also results in an employee owned structure that recognises the importance and contribution of the Avidity staff to its future success and provides a mechanism for them to share in that success.
AEOTL has received irrevocable undertakings to accept the offer in respect of 54.4 percent of the Avidity shares in issue.
AEOTL and ICL received financial advice on the transaction from Cattaneo LLP, the Cattaneo team comprised Ian Stanway and Charles Cattaneo, and legal advice from Andrew Smith of Shakespeare Martineau LLP.
Commenting on the transaction Sam Wauchope, Chairman of Avidity, said:
“The offer provides an opportunity for Avidity to create an employee owned structure that will provide a mechanism that will help us to recruit, motivate and retain our people. We are keen to grow the business and believe we will be the first in our sector to adopt an employee owned business model.”
Ian Stanway, advising AEOTL and ICL said:
“Because of the past history of Avidity and the requirements of existing shareholders the structuring and financing of the offer were quite complex. However, we are delighted to have been able to advise on the transaction which will see Avidity becoming an employee controlled business”.