International law firm Bird & Bird is advising on the merger of longstanding client, Crowdcube with Seedrs, which was announced on 5 October 2020. The transaction is expected to accelerate the two companies’ plans to create the world’s largest private equity marketplace and further “democratise” equity investment.
By joining forces, thousands of ambitious fast-growth businesses and millions of investors will be able to benefit from the best expertise, services and returns offered by Crowdcube’s and Seedrs’ investment platforms. The combined company aims to deliver new innovations and products that will make it significantly easier, more affordable and valuable for ambitious businesses to raise growth finance, and investors will have an even greater selection of investment opportunities with richer investment tools.
The merger is being structured as an acquisition by Crowdcube of all the outstanding share capital of Seedrs Limited via scheme of arrangement. Existing Crowdcube shareholders and option holders will own 60% of the combined company, with existing Seedrs shareholders and option holders owning 40%. The transaction is subject to approval by, among others, the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and shareholders of the two companies as well as the sanction of the Court. The transaction is expected to be completed in late 2020 / early 2021.
The Bird & Bird team is advising Crowdcube on all aspects of the transaction. The team is being led by Corporate partner, Simon Allport assisted by Corporate associate Hannah Fletcher. The wider team includes partner Colin Kendon, legal director Simon Gough and associate Andrew Rink (Tax and EIB), consultant Richard Eccles and associate Ariane le Strat (Competition), partner Elizabeth Lang (Employment) and associate, Gavin Punia (Financial Services and Regulatory).
Simon Allport, partner at International law firm Bird & Bird said: “We are delighted to be helping Crowdcube on its merger with Seedrs. It’s a significant milestone for both companies and one that paves the way for the combined business to become a real force in the UK’s equity funding market. We look forward to supporting the team through to completion and beyond in what is an exciting time for all involved”
Darren Westlake, CEO of Crowdcube said: “Equity crowdfunding has redefined how many ambitious businesses raise investment and engage with their customers. This transaction is an incredibly exciting milestone that will benefit high growth businesses, their investors who believe in their vision and the wider entrepreneurial ecosystem that supports them. Simon and the team at Bird & Bird have played an important part in helping us develop and implement our plans to date and we look forward to a successful conclusion to the transaction over the coming months.”