Bowen Fintech plc [LSE:BWN], a special purpose acquisition company formed to acquire businesses in the technology innovations market with a focus on the financial services sector, has today joined the standard segment of the Official List of the FCA and trading in its ordinary shares commenced on the main market of the London Stock Exchange at 8.00 a.m today (Monday).
The company has successfully raised gross proceeds of £2 million through a placing of new ordinary shares at a price of 4 pence per share and has 55,000,000 ordinary shares in issue. The shares are currently trading up 25% at 5p.
Bowen is seeking to acquire businesses in the technology innovations market with a main focus on companies that own products or applications that are relevant to the financial services sector, such as digital payment systems, trading platforms and other related infrastructure. Applications relating to other sectors may also be considered. While not limited to a particular geographic region, the directors said they expect they will acquire a company mostly likely located in the UK, Europe, Asia or the US.
Bowen Fintech joins a very limited universe of existing cash shells or SPACs on the London market. Among them are Pineapple Power [LON:PNPL], which was originally listed to pursue opportunities in the clean energy market, and Electric Guitar [LON:ELEG], another small cash shell which is after acquisitions in the advertising data and technology space.
Why fintech, and why now?
Fintech has transformed the way businesses operate and innovations in the fintech sector have emerged considerably in the last few years. Independent research suggests that the global fintech market is expected to reach a market value of c. $324 billion by 2026, growing at a CAGR of c. 23% over the next five years.
The directors of Bowen Fintech said they intend to consider businesses that are founder or entrepreneur-led, typically with a buy-and-build strategy and preferably which are already revenue generating and within the small to medium cap range where the board believes it has greater access and where the negotiation process is generally less time consuming than companies that are much larger.
Bowen is looking for fintech companies that are at an inflection point, such as those requiring additional management expertise, are able to innovate by developing new products or services, or where the board of Bowen believes it can drive improved financial performance and it may help facilitate growth. Like other SPACs, Bowen wants to talk to private companies that are well positioned to benefit from being a public company and leverage the coard’s capital markets experience.
Who is behind Bowen Fintech?
The board of Bowen Fintech has significant experience in establishing and growing businesses along with experience of managing public companies and risks associated with such ventures both operationally and financially. It says that it has a broad network of contacts and corporate relationships that makes it efficient at sourcing and evaluating businesses and bridging cultural differences to negotiate and execute a transaction in a timely and professional manner.
Bowen’s non-executive chairman is Aamir Quraishi, a seasoned investment banker and experienced board director. He has some 25 years of investment banking experience in Europe, Asia and the Middle East having worked in both bulge bracket and mid cap institutions.
Between 1996-2003, Quraishi worked in the Corporate Finance Advisory division of Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein in London spending almost a year seconded to the bank’s Tokyo office. He moved to Libertas Capital Group plc in 2003 where he successfully built its capital markets practice in London, completing over a dozen IPOs, and relocating to its Dubai office in late 2007 where he built up a network of SWFs and Family Offices across the GCC and Asia regions.
He is assisted by Allan Rowley, a practising CFO with over 20 years of experience in public and private growth businesses. He is a UK Chartered Accountant with international experience of raising finance, IPOs, public company reporting (on both the US and UK stock exchanges), strategic planning, corporate governance, investor relations, mergers and acquisitions, international tax, operational execution, turn-arounds and restructurings.
Rowley has worked across a variety of sectors including: pharmaceutical, technology, healthcare, financial services, fin tech, recruitment, mining and gaming. He has led teams across England, Europe, North America, Latin America, the UAE, China and Japan.