Good morning!

I'm back for one day only, to give Paul a break. A few stories popping up on my radar today:

  • Confirmation of intention to float by DWF
  • MySale (LON:MYSL) trading update
  • EU Supply (LON:EUSP) trading update
  • Hardide (LON:HDD) fundraising
  • Earthport (LON:EPO) improved offer


DWF - Intention to float

Confirmation of intention to float

It continues to amaze me that firms which traditionally would have stayed private, are now selling their shares to the general public.

Another example of this today with DWF, the international law firm headquartered in Manchester.

Law firms are perfectly good LLPs, and they've always been LLPs. Why is now the right time to take on the PLC model? And can they really function as publicly-listed PLCs? I suppose we will find out.

The simplest explanation for me is that there's still quite a lot of complacency out there, and that this has manifested itself in the flotation of companies which would never ordinarily float (not only because investors wouldn't bite, but also because the companies themselves would want to stay private, for the sake of their long-term futures).

Another example of this complacency in my opinion is the property portal On the Market (LON:OTMP), which Paul discussed on Wednesday. This was a mutual organisation which demutualised, and yet its strategy now is to continue acting as if it were a mutual (i.e. to act for the benefit of its customers, rather than its shareholders). In other words, it wants to have its cake and eat it, too.

I used to work for a mutual organisation, so I have seen how they work from the inside. There is nothing wrong with being a mutual, but I would never want to own shares in one. The whole point of the thing is to serve its customers, not shareholders! So shares in a mutual which don't come with the privileges of being a customer are unlikely to generate a good long-term return, in my view - they are a structurally bad investment (disclosure: I own shares in Rightmove (LON:RMV) ).

Similarly, law firms are a structurally bad investment. Why work for a law firm which has…

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