Centaur boss set to make £14m

Sherren: ‘excited by possibilities that being a public company will bring’

Centaur Communications will launch on the alternative investment market next week valued at £148m, writes Ruth Addicott.

The company – which publishes titles such as The Lawyer and Marketing Week, was acquired by investment bank and stockbroker Numis for £145m after a lengthy and controversial bidding process, which led to a complaint about Numis to the Financial Services Authority.

Incisive Media, Emap, United Business Media and HG Capital are believed to have been among the nine bidders but their offers were said to be considerably behind that from Numis.

Many felt the price was too high given the advertising downturn and the bidding process angered Incisive, which had used Numis as its broker.

Incisive has since broken ties with Numis and filed a complaint to the FSA over a possible conflict of interest.

Centaur’s previous attempt to float was at an estimated £100m.

Centaur’s chairman and founder, Graham Sherren, who is expected to be worth at least £14m after the flotation, told The Sunday Telegraph: “I am afraid Numis had a bit of unpleasantness from people they have shown a clean pair of heels to.”

In a statement he added: “This is the beginning of a new age for me and all of the staff at Centaur, who have created such a great collection of products and a company of which I am extremely proud.

“I am excited by the possibilities that being a public company will bring for staff and shareholders alike.”

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