PE-backed commodities broker Marex announced on Friday it was considering a flotation in London that a source estimated could value the company at $703m.

The move comes amid a boom in commodities markets and after the private equity owners of Marex spent several years unsuccessfully seeking to sell the firm and exit their investment, financial industry sources said.

Marex, one of the world’s largest privately-owned brokers in the commodities sector, said in a statement that it was exploring an initial public offering on the London Stock Exchange’s main market.

Marex said it would have an initial free float of at least 25% of shares and one of the sources said the company was targeting a listing in late June.

Private equity firm JRJ Group and its partners Trilantic Capital Partners and BXR Group bought a majority stake in the broker in 2010.

“Marex is an agile, technology driven business, with advanced data and analytics capabilities,” said Chief Executive Ian Lowitt.

The prospects of a resurgence of inflation has helped fuel investor inflows into commodities and Citi said this week that global assets under management in the sector reached a new record of $684bn in April.

Marex, one of nine firms trading on the open outcry floor of the London Metal Exchange, posted a 17.7% rise in net revenue to $414.7m in the year ending in December while adjusted operating profit before tax gained 15.2% to $61.5m.

The London-headquartered broker has been aggressively expanding its business through several acquisitions over the past few years, and said this would continue to form an important element of its strategy as a public company.

It most recently acquired Chicago-based equity derivatives firm XFA, London-based non-ferrous recycled metals specialist Tangent Trading, and Luxembourg-based equity volatility market maker Volatility Performance Fund SA.

Source: Reuters

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