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Admission to AIM and First Day of Dealings

28th March 2014

Scholium Group plc

(“Scholium”, the “Scholium Group” or the “Company”)

Admission to AIM and First Day of Dealings

Scholium Group, a dealer in rare and antiquarian books and other works on paper, is pleased to announce the admission of its ordinary shares (“Ordinary Shares”) to trading on AIM (“Admission”) and commencement of dealings in its Ordinary Shares.

Scholium is the holding company of a group of businesses involved primarily in the trading and retailing of rare and antiquarian books and works on paper to public institutions and collectors around the world.

Admission Details

  • The Company raised £8 million via the placing of 8,000,000 ordinary shares (the “Placing”) at a placing price of 100 pence per share (the “Placing Price”).
  • The total number of Ordinary Shares in issue at Admission is 13,200,235 giving Scholium a market capitalisation of approximately £13.2 million at the Placing Price.
  • The net proceeds of the Placing will be used to increase the day-to-day trading stock of Shapero Rare Books; trade alongside other dealers in the wider rare and collectible goods market; and for general working capital purposes.
  • The Ordinary Shares will trade under the ticker “SCHO” and the ISIN number is: GB00BJYS2173.
  • WH Ireland is acting as Nominated Adviser and Whitman Howard is acting as broker to the Company.

Operational Highlights

  • The Company’s directors (the “Directors”) estimate that the global market for fine art and collectibles is in excess of £5 billion per annum and the UK market for rare books amounts to in excess of £200 million per annum.
  • In the year ended 31 March 2013, Shapero Rare Books generated revenue of approximately £5.38 million, comprising sales of approximately £5.23 million and commissions of approximately £0.15 million on trades on behalf of third parties of approximately £2.75 million. The average price of a book sold from own stock was approximately £6,100, with the highest value book sold for approximately £400,000.
  • It is the Directors’ opinion that the performance of Shapero Rare Books is currently being constrained by the limited capital available to it. The Directors are confident that Shapero Rare Books is capable of increasing its stock and delivering a proportionate increase in sales of owned stock at a gross margin of approximately 37 per cent.
  • Scholium has identified the opportunity for a well-funded dealer to develop interests, in affiliation with highly regarded specialist dealers, in trading at the high value end of the rare and collectible goods market. Certain of the Directors and senior management of the Scholium Group have considerable experience in working alongside other dealers, in these markets.

Philip Blackwell, Chief Executive Officer of Scholium commented:

“The strong level of support from both retail and institutional investors is testament to the strength of our business and our future prospects. The market for rare and collectible items is growing internationally alongside global wealth, and London is a key centre for this trade. The Placing and admission to AIM provides funds to increase our inventories, and allows us to take advantage of the attractive economics of the more general rare and collectibles market. High end dealers in this market have limited access to capital. We will now be in a fantastic position to trade alongside these established specialist dealers to find and acquire high value items and collections beyond the reach of their normal capacity. These works will be sold on to the customers of Scholium and its dealer partners.”

For further information regarding Scholium Group, please call:

Scholium GroupPhilip Blackwell, Chief Executive Officer

Simon Southwood, Chief Financial Officer

 

c/o Redleaf Polhill+44 (0)20 7382 4730
Redleaf Polhill – PR adviserCharlie Geller / Dwight Burden

 

+44 (0)20 7382 4730
WH Ireland Ltd – Nominated AdviserChris Fielding / Nick Field

 

+44 (0)20 7220 1666
Whitman Howard Ltd – BrokerRanald McGregor-Smith / Niall Devins

 

+44 (0)20 7087 4550

Further information can also be found on the Company’s website at: www.scholiumgroup.com.

Notes to Editors:

Background and history

Bookbank Limited, the principal subsidiary of the Scholium Group, was established by Philip Blackwell in March 2009 in order to trade in books in affiliation with other dealers.

Mr Blackwell had previously been the chief executive of Blackwell Limited, a distributor and retailer of new and antiquarian books. He was also a director of Blackwell Publishing (Holdings) Limited, an academic publishing business, until the sale of the latter for approximately £572 million in February 2007.

In May 2011, Bookbank Limited also extended its activities into book retailing, through a staged acquisition of the business which now trades as South Kensington Books. More recently, in October 2011, it further extended its activities into bespoke library creation, through the acquisition of Ultimate Library Limited, whose business was combined with that of South Kensington Books.

Shapero Rare Books

Shapero Rare Books, which was founded by its chief executive Bernard Shapero in 1979, is a dealer in rare and antiquarian books and works on paper, which includes maps of historic importance, vintage photographs and decorative and artistic prints. Mr Shapero is a well-known and established international dealer in rare books and maps. He developed his expertise from an initial focus on travel and illustrated books into a broad spectrum of rare and collectible works.

Mr Shapero was joined at Shapero Rare Books in 2007 by Pierre-Yves Guillemet, an experienced Eastern European and Russian books dealer, who had previously worked at the fine art and collectibles auctioneer, Christie’s.

Shapero Rare Books, which specialises in travel, natural history and Russian materials, has experience in acquiring large consignments of rare and historically important antiquarian books for sale to an international client base. The business has operated since 1996 from its current leasehold premises in St George Street, Mayfair, London.

Scholium Trading

The Directors have identified the opportunity for a well-funded dealer to develop interests, in affiliation with highly regarded specialist dealers, in trading at the high value end of the rare and collectible goods market.

Certain of the Directors and senior management of the Group have considerable experience in working alongside other dealers, in these markets.

South Kensington Books and Ultimate Library

South Kensington Books is the current trading name of a bookshop which has been operating from leasehold premises in Thurloe Street, South Kensington, London for several decades.

South Kensington Books, which specialises in books valued at up to £50 in visual arts, architecture and photography, caters to local professionals; visitors to the museums; Christie’s (South Kensington); interior designers; and affluent local residents. The bookshop has benefited from the recent pedestrianisation of the area.

Ultimate Library, which operates from the same premises, creates bespoke libraries on behalf of luxury hotels and resorts, and high-end personal residences around the world. Its customers include Aman Resorts, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, Six Senses Resorts and Spas, and the Savoy Hotel.