TIDMECK

RNS Number : 7733V

Eckoh PLC

15 December 2021

THIS ANNOUNCEMENT AND THE INFORMATION CONTAINED HEREIN IS RESTRICTED AND IS NOT FOR RELEASE, PUBLICATION OR DISTRIBUTION, IN WHOLE OR IN PART, DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY, IN, INTO OR FROM THE UNITED STATES, AUSTRALIA, CANADA, THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA OR JAPAN OR ANY OTHER JURISDICTION IN WHICH SUCH RELEASE, PUBLICATION OR DISTRIBUTION WOULD BE UNLAWFUL. PLEASE SEE THE IMPORTANT NOTICES AT THE OF THIS ANNOUNCEMENT.

THIS ANNOUNCEMENT IS FOR INFORMATION PURPOSES ONLY AND DOES NOT CONSTITUTE OR CONTAIN ANY INVITATION, SOLICITATION, RECOMMATION, OFFER OR ADVICE TO ANY PERSON TO PURCHASE AND/OR SUBSCRIBE FOR, OTHERWISE ACQUIRE OR DISPOSE OF ANY SECURITIES IN ECKOH PLC OR ANY OTHER ENTITY IN ANY JURISDICTION. NEITHER THIS ANNOUNCEMENT NOR THE FACT OF ITS DISTRIBUTION, SHALL FORM THE BASIS OF, OR BE RELIED ON IN CONNECTION WITH ANY INVESTMENT DECISION IN RESPECT OF ECKOH PLC.

THIS ANNOUNCEMENT CONTAINS INSIDE INFORMATION FOR THE PURPOSES OF ARTICLE 7 OF THE MARKET ABUSE REGULATION (596/2014/EU) AS IT FORMS PART OF UK DOMESTIC LAW BY VIRTUE OF THE EUROPEAN UNION (WITHDRAWAL) ACT 2018 ("MAR").

15 December 2021

Eckoh plc

("Eckoh", or the "Company", or the "Group")

Result of Placing

Eckoh, the global provider of secure payment products and customer contact solutions, is pleased to announce the successful completion of the Placing announced earlier today (15 December 2021) ("Proposed Placing Announcement").

A total of 25,377,600 ordinary shares of 0.25 pence each (the "Ordinary Shares") in the capital of the Company (the "Placing Shares") have been successfully placed with existing and new institutional investors (the "Placing") by Singer Capital Markets Securities Limited ("Singer Capital Markets") and Canaccord Genuity Limited ("Canaccord Genuity") in an oversubscribed fundraise.

The Placing Shares will be issued at a price of 54 pence per share (the "Placing Price"), raising gross proceeds of approximately GBP13.7 million for the Company. The Placing Price represents a 12.2 per cent. discount to the closing middle market price of an Ordinary Share on 14 December 2021 (being the latest practicable date prior to the publication of the Proposed Placing Announcement).

In addition, the (and as described in the Proposed Placing Announcement), the Company has also agreed to issue 10,825,040 new Ordinary Shares to the vendors as part of the consideration for the Acquisition (together with the Placing Shares, the "New Ordinary Shares")

In aggregate, the New Ordinary Shares represent approximately 14.20 per cent. of the Company's existing Ordinary Shares in issue carrying voting rights.

Application has been made for the 36,202,640 New Ordinary Shares to be admitted to trading on AIM. Admission and settlement is expected to take place at 8.00 a.m. on 22 December 2021.

The Placing is conditional, inter alia, upon Admission becoming effective and the Placing Agreement becoming unconditional and not being terminated in accordance with its terms prior to Admission.

The New Ordinary Shares, when issued, will be fully paid and will rank pari passu in all respects with the existing Ordinary Shares, including the right to receive all dividends and other distributions declared, made or paid after the date of issue. The issue and allotment of the New Ordinary Shares will be within the Company's existing authorities granted by Shareholders at the annual general meeting on 1 September 2021.

Other than where defined, capitalised terms used in this announcement have the meanings given to them in the Proposed Placing Announcement.

Total voting rights

Following Admission, the Company will have a total of 292,869,261 Ordinary Shares in issue. The number of Ordinary Shares held in treasury is 1,811,715 and, as a result, the Ordinary Shares in issue carrying voting rights will be 291,057,546.

Shareholders may use this figure of 291,057,546 Ordinary Shares as the denominator for the calculations by which they will determine if they are required to notify their interest in, or a change to their interest in, the share capital of the Company under the FCA's Disclosure Guidance and Transparency Rules.

Related Party Transactions

Liontrust Asset Management and Canaccord Genuity Wealth Management are substantial Shareholders of the Company as defined in the AIM Rules for Companies (the "Substantial Shareholders") and are therefore classified as related parties under the AIM Rules. The Substantial Shareholders have participated in the Placing for 2,572,556 and 3,179,820 Placing Shares respectively at the Placing Price.

The Substantial Shareholders' respective participations in the Placing are each considered to be related party transactions under the AIM Rules.

The Directors, having consulted with the Company's nominated adviser, Singer Capital Markets, consider that the terms of the Substantial Shareholders' respective participations in the Placing are fair and reasonable insofar as the Company's Shareholders are concerned.

For further information please contact:

 
 Eckoh plc                                      Tel: 01442 458 300 
  Nik Philpot, Chief Executive Officer 
  Chrissie Herbert, Chief Financial Officer 
  www.eckoh.com 
 FTI Consulting LLP                             Tel: 020 3727 1017 
  Ed Bridges / Jamie Ricketts / Tom Blundell 
  eckoh@fticonsulting.com 
 Singer Capital Markets (Nomad & Joint          Tel: 020 7496 3000 
  Bookrunner) 
  Shaun Dobson / Tom Salvesen / Alex Bond 
  / Kailey Aliyar 
  www.singercm.com 
 Canaccord Genuity Limited (Joint Bookrunner)   Tel: 020 7523 8000 
  Simon Bridges / Andrew Potts 
  www.canaccordgenuity.com 
 

About Eckoh plc

Eckoh is a global provider of Secure Payment products and Customer Contact solutions, supporting an international client base from its offices in the UK and US.

Our Secure Payments products help our clients take payments securely from their customers through all engagement channels. The products, which include the patented CallGuard and ChatGuard, can be hosted in the Cloud or deployed on the client's site and remove sensitive personal and payment data from contact centres and IT environments. They offer merchants a simple and effective way to reduce the risk of fraud, secure sensitive data and become compliant with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards ("PCI DSS") and wider data security regulations. Eckoh has been a PCI DSS Level One Accredited Service Provider since 2010, securing over GBP5 billion in payments annually.

Eckoh's Customer Contact solutions enable enquiries and transactions to be performed on whatever device the customer chooses, allowing organisations to increase efficiency, lower operational costs and provide a true Omnichannel experience. We also assist organisations in transforming the way that they engage with their customers by providing support and transition services as they implement our innovative customer contact solutions.

Our large portfolio of clients come from a broad range of vertical markets and includes government departments, telecoms providers, retailers, utility providers and financial services organisations.

For more information go to www.eckoh.com or email MediaResponseUK@eckoh.com .

This Announcement should be read in its entirety. In particular, you should read and understand the information provided in the "Important Notices" section of this Announcement.

IMPORTANT NOTICES

Neither this Announcement, nor any copy of it, nor the information contained in it, is for publication, release, transmission, distribution or forwarding, in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, in or into the United States, Australia, Canada, Japan or the Republic of South Africa or any other jurisdiction in which publication, release or distribution would be unlawful (or to any persons in any of those jurisdictions). This Announcement is for information purposes only and does not constitute an offer to sell or issue, or the solicitation of an offer to buy, acquire or subscribe for shares in the capital of the Company in the United States, Australia, Canada, Japan or the Republic of South Africa or any other state or jurisdiction (or to any persons in any of those jurisdictions). This Announcement has not been approved by the London Stock Exchange. Any failure to comply with these restrictions may constitute a violation of the securities laws of such jurisdictions.

The Placing Shares have not been, and will not be, registered under the US Securities Act ""or with any securities regulatory authority or under any securities laws of any state or other jurisdiction of the United States and may not be offered, sold, resold, pledged, transferred or delivered, directly or indirectly, in or into the United States except pursuant to an applicable exemption from, or in a transaction not subject to, the registration requirements of the US Securities Act and in compliance with the securities laws of any state or other jurisdiction of the United States. No public offering of securities is being made in the United States. The Placing Shares have not been approved, disapproved or recommended by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, any state securities commission in the United States or any other U.S. regulatory authority, nor have any of the foregoing authorities passed upon or endorsed the merits of the offering of the Placing Shares. Subject to certain exceptions, the securities referred to herein may not be offered or sold in the United States, Australia, Canada, Japan or the Republic of South Africa or to, or for the account or benefit of, any national, resident or citizen of the United States, Australia, Canada, Japan or the Republic of South Africa.

No public offering of the Placing Shares is being made in the United States, United Kingdom or elsewhere. All offers of the Placing Shares will be made pursuant to an exemption from the requirement to produce a prospectus under the Prospectus Regulation or the UK Prospectus Regulation.

This Announcement is not being distributed by, nor has it been approved for the purposes of section 21 of FSMA by, a person authorised under FSMA. This Announcement is being distributed and communicated to persons in the United Kingdom only in circumstances in which section 21(1) of FSMA does not apply.

No prospectus will be made available in connection with the matters contained in this Announcement and no such prospectus is required (in accordance with the Prospectus Regulation or UK Prospectus Regulation) to be published. Members of the public are not eligible to take part in the Placing. This Announcement is for information purposes only and (unless otherwise agreed by the Joint Bookrunners) is directed only at: (a) persons in member states of the ""EEA who are qualified investors within the meaning of Article 2(e) of the Prospectus Regulation ("EEA Qualified Investors"); (b) persons in the United Kingdom, who are qualified investors, being persons falling within the meaning of Article 2(e) of the UK Prospectus Regulation, and who (i) have professional experience in matters relating to investments falling within the definition of "investment professionals" in article 19(5) of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Financial Promotion) Order 2005, as amended (the "Order"); or (ii) are persons falling within article 49(2)(a) to (d) ("high net worth companies, unincorporated associations, etc") of the Order; or (c) persons to whom it may otherwise lawfully be communicated, (each such persons in (a), (b) and (c) together being referred to as "Relevant Persons"). This Announcement must not be acted on or relied on by persons who are not Relevant Persons. Persons distributing this Announcement must satisfy themselves that it is lawful to do so. Any investment or investment activity to which this Announcement relates is available only to, and will be engaged in only with, Relevant Persons.

This Announcement has been issued by, and is the sole responsibility of, the Company. No responsibility or liability is or will be accepted by, and no undertaking, representation or warranty or other assurance, express or implied, is or will be made or given by any of the Joint Bookrunners, or by any of their respective partners, directors, officers, employees, advisers, consultants or affiliates as to, or in relation to, the accuracy, fairness or completeness of the information or opinions contained in this Announcement or any other written or oral information made available to or publicly available to any interested person or its advisers, and any liability therefore is expressly disclaimed. The information in this Announcement is subject to change.

Singer Capital Markets, which is authorised and regulated in the United Kingdom by the FCA is acting solely for the Company and no-one else in connection with the Placing and the transactions and arrangements described in this Announcement and will not regard any other person (whether or not a recipient of this Announcement) as a client in relation to the Placing or the transactions and arrangements described in this Announcement. Singer Capital Markets is not responsible to anyone other than the Company for providing the protections afforded to clients of Singer Capital Markets or for providing advice in connection with the contents of this Announcement, the Placing or the transactions and arrangements described herein.

Singer Capital Markets Advisory LLP ("SCM Advisory"), which is authorised and regulated in the United Kingdom by the FCA, is acting as nominated adviser to the Company for the purposes of the AIM Rules and no-one else in connection with the Placing and the transactions and arrangements described in this Announcement and will not be responsible to any other person (whether or not a recipient of this Announcement) as a client in relation to the Placing or the transactions and arrangements described in this Announcement. SCM Advisory is not responsible to anyone other than the Company for providing the protections afforded to clients of SCM Advisory or for providing advice in connection with the contents of this Announcement, the Placing or the transactions and arrangements described herein. SCM Advisory's responsibilities as the Company's nominated adviser under the AIM Rules for Nominated Advisers are owed solely to the London Stock Exchange and are not owed to the Company or to any Director or to any other person.

Canaccord Genuity, which is authorised and regulated in the United Kingdom by the FCA, is acting solely for the Company and no-one else in connection with the Placing and the transactions and arrangements described in this Announcement and will not regard any other person (whether or not a recipient of this Announcement) as a client in relation to the Placing or the transactions and arrangements described in this Announcement. Canaccord Genuity is not responsible to anyone other than the Company for providing the protections afforded to clients of Canaccord Genuity or for providing advice in connection with the contents of this Announcement, the Placing or the transactions and arrangements described herein.

None of the information in this Announcement has been independently verified or approved by either of the Joint Bookrunners or any of their respective partners, directors, officers, employees, advisers, consultants or affiliates. Save for any responsibilities or liabilities, if any, imposed on the Joint Bookrunners by FSMA or by the regulatory regime established under it, no responsibility or liability whatsoever whether arising in tort, contract or otherwise, is accepted by either of the Joint Bookrunners or any of their respective partners, directors, officers, employees, advisers, consultants or affiliates whatsoever for the contents of the information contained in this Announcement (including, but not limited to, any errors, omissions or inaccuracies in the information or any opinions) or for any other statement made or purported to be made by or on behalf of either of the Joint Bookrunners or any of their respective partners, directors, officers, employees, advisers, consultants or affiliates in connection with the Company, the Placing Shares or the Placing or for any loss, cost or damage suffered or incurred howsoever arising, directly or indirectly, from any use of this Announcement or its contents or otherwise in connection with this Announcement or from any acts or omissions of the Company in relation to the Placing. Each of the Joint Bookrunners and their respective partners, directors, officers, employees, advisers, consultants and affiliates accordingly disclaim all and any responsibility and liability whatsoever, whether arising in tort, contract or otherwise in respect of any statements or other information contained in this Announcement and no representation or warranty, express or implied, is made by either of the Joint Bookrunners or any of their respective partners, directors, officers, employees, advisers, consultants or affiliates as to the accuracy, completeness or sufficiency of the information contained in this Announcement.

The distribution of this Announcement and the offering of the Placing Shares in certain jurisdictions may be restricted by law. No action has been taken by the Company, the Joint Bookrunners or any of their respective affiliates that would permit an offering of the Placing Shares or possession or distribution of this Announcement or any other offering or publicity material relating to the Placing Shares in any jurisdiction where action for that purpose is required. Persons into whose possession this Announcement comes are required by the Company and the Joint Bookrunners to inform themselves about, and to observe, such restrictions.

Persons distributing this Announcement must satisfy themselves that it is lawful to do so. Persons (including without limitation, nominees and trustees) who have a contractual right or other legal obligations to forward a copy of this Announcement (or any part thereof) should seek appropriate advice before taking any action.

In connection with the Placing, the Joint Bookrunners and any of their respective affiliates, acting as investors for their own account, may take up a portion of the shares in the Placing as a principal position and in that capacity may retain, purchase, sell, offer to sell for their own accounts or otherwise deal for their own account in such shares and other securities of the Company or related investments in connection with the Placing or otherwise. Accordingly, references to Placing Shares being offered, acquired, placed or otherwise dealt in should be read as including any issue or offer to, or acquisition, placing or dealing by, the Joint Bookrunners and any of their respective affiliates acting in such capacity. In addition, the Joint Bookrunners and any of their respective affiliates may enter into financing arrangements (including swaps) with investors in connection with which the Joint Bookrunners and any of their respective affiliates may from time to time acquire, hold or dispose of shares. The Joint Bookrunners do not intend to disclose the extent of any such investment or transactions otherwise than in accordance with any legal or regulatory obligations to do so.

This Announcement may contain and the Company may make verbal statements containing "forward-looking statements" with respect to certain of the Company's plans and its current goals and expectations relating to its future financial condition, performance, strategic initiatives, objectives and results. Forward-looking statements sometimes use words such as "aim", "anticipate", "target", "expect", "estimate", "intend", "plan", "goal", "believe", "seek", "may", "could", "outlook" or other words of similar meaning. By their nature, all forward-looking statements involve risk and uncertainty because they relate to future events and circumstances which are beyond the control of the Company. As a result, the actual future financial condition, performance and results of the Company may differ materially from the plans, goals and expectations set forth in any forward-looking statements. Any forward-looking statements made in this Announcement by or on behalf of the Company speak only as of the date they are made. These forward-looking statements reflect the Company's judgment at the date of this Announcement and are not intended to give any assurance as to future results and the Company cautions that its actual results of operations and financial condition, and the development of the industry in which it operates, may differ materially from those made in or suggested by the forward-looking statements contained in this Announcement and/or information incorporated by reference into this Announcement. The information contained in this Announcement is subject to change without notice and except as required by applicable law or regulation, the Company expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking to publish any updates, supplements or revisions to any forward-looking statements contained in this Announcement to reflect any changes in the Company's expectations with regard thereto or any changes in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statements are based, except where required to do so under applicable law.

This Announcement does not identify or suggest, or purport to identify or suggest, the risks (direct or indirect) that may be associated with an investment in the Placing Shares. Any investment decision to buy Placing Shares in the Placing must be made solely on the basis of publicly available information, which has not been independently verified by the Joint Bookrunners. This Announcement does not constitute a prospectus or offering memorandum or an offer in respect of any securities and is not intended to provide the basis for any decision in respect of the Company or other evaluation of any securities of the Company or any other entity and should not be considered as a recommendation that any investor should subscribe for, purchase, otherwise acquire, sell or otherwise dispose of any such securities. Recipients of this Announcement who are considering acquiring Placing Shares pursuant to the Placing are reminded that they should conduct their own investigation, evaluation and analysis of the business, data and property described in this Announcement. The price and value of securities can go down as well as up and past performance is not a guide to future performance. The contents of this Announcement is not to be construed as legal, business, financial or tax advice. Each investor should consult with his or her or its own legal adviser, business adviser, financial adviser or tax adviser for legal, financial, business or tax advice.

No statement in this Announcement is intended to be a profit forecast or estimate, and no statement in this Announcement should be interpreted to mean that earnings per share of the Company for the current or future financial years would necessarily match or exceed the historical published earnings per share of the Company.

References in this Announcement to other reports or materials, such as a website address, have been provided to direct the reader to other sources of information on the Company which may be of interest. Neither the content of the Company's website (or any other website) nor the content of any website accessible from hyperlinks on the Company's website (or any other website) is incorporated into or forms part of this Announcement.

The Placing Shares to be issued or sold pursuant to the Placing will not be admitted to trading on any stock exchange other than AIM.

Information to Distributors

The distribution of this Announcement and the offering of the Placing Shares in certain jurisdictions may be restricted by law. No action has been taken by the Company, the Joint Bookrunners or any of their respective affiliates that would permit an offering of the Placing Shares or possession or distribution of this Announcement or any other offering or publicity material relating to the Placing Shares in any jurisdiction where action for that purpose is required. Persons into whose possession this Announcement comes are required by the Company and the Joint Bookrunners to inform themselves about, and to observe, such restrictions.

UK Product Governance Requirements

Solely for the purposes of the product governance requirements contained within Chapter 3 of the FCA Handbook Product Intervention and Product Governance Sourcebook (the "UK Product Governance Rules"), and disclaiming all and any liability, whether arising in tort, contract or otherwise, which any 'manufacturer' (for the purposes of the UK Product Governance Rules) may otherwise have with respect thereto, the Placing Shares have been subject to a product approval process, which has determined that such Placing Shares are: (i) compatible with an end target market of retail investors and investors who meet the criteria of professional clients and eligible counterparties, each as defined in paragraphs 3.5 and 3.6 of COBS; and (ii) eligible for distribution through all permitted distribution channels (the "UK Target Market Assessment"). Notwithstanding the UK Target Market Assessment, distributors should note that: the price of the Placing Shares may decline and investors could lose all or part of their investment; the Placing Shares offer no guaranteed income and no capital protection; and an investment in the Placing Shares is compatible only with investors who do not need a guaranteed income or capital protection, who (either alone or in conjunction with an appropriate financial or other adviser) are capable of evaluating the merits and risks of such an investment and who have sufficient resources to be able to bear any losses that may result therefrom. The UK Target Market Assessment is without prejudice to the requirements of any contractual, legal or regulatory selling restrictions in relation to the Placing. Furthermore, it is noted that, notwithstanding the UK Target Market Assessment, the Joint Bookrunners will only procure investors who meet the criteria of professional clients and eligible counterparties.

For the avoidance of doubt, the UK Target Market Assessment does not constitute: (a) an assessment of suitability or appropriateness for the purposes of COBS 9A and COBS 10A, respectively; or (b) a recommendation to any investor or group of investors to invest in, or purchase or take any other action whatsoever with respect to the Placing Shares. Each distributor is responsible for undertaking its own target market assessment in respect of the Placing Shares and determining appropriate distribution channels.

EU Product Governance Requirements

Solely for the purposes of the product governance requirements contained within: (a) EU Directive 2014/65/EU on markets in financial instruments, as amended ("MiFID II"); (b) Articles 9 and 10 of Commission Delegated Directive (EU) 2017/593 supplementing MiFID II; (c) local implementing measures (together, the "MiFID II Product Governance Requirements"), and disclaiming all and any liability, whether arising in tort, contract or otherwise, which any "manufacturer" (for the purposes of the MiFID II Product Governance Requirements) may otherwise have with respect thereto, the Placing Shares have been subject to a product approval process, which has determined that the Placing Shares are: (i) compatible with an end target market of retail investors and investors who meet the criteria of professional clients and eligible counterparties, each as defined in MiFID II; and (ii) eligible for distribution through all distribution channels as are permitted by MiFID II (the "EU Target Market Assessment"). Notwithstanding the EU Target Market Assessment, distributors should note that: the price of the Placing Shares may decline and investors could lose all or part of their investment; the Placing Shares offer no guaranteed income and no capital protection; and an investment in the Placing Shares is compatible only with investors who do not need a guaranteed income or capital protection, who (either alone or in conjunction with an appropriate financial or other adviser) are capable of evaluating the merits and risks of such an investment and who have sufficient resources to be able to bear any losses that may result therefrom. The EU Target Market Assessment is without prejudice to the requirements of any contractual, legal or regulatory selling restrictions in relation to the Placing. Furthermore, it is noted that, notwithstanding the EU Target Market Assessment, the Joint Bookrunners will only procure investors who meet the criteria of professional clients and eligible counterparties.

For the avoidance of doubt, the EU Target Market Assessment does not constitute: (a) an assessment of suitability or appropriateness for the purposes of MiFID II; or (b) a recommendation to any investor or group of investors to invest in, or purchase, or take any other action whatsoever with respect to the Placing Shares. Each distributor is responsible for undertaking its own target market assessment in respect of the Placing Shares and determining appropriate distribution channels.

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December 15, 2021 08:20 ET (13:20 GMT)

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