WorldSpread plans London flotation

BETTING firm WorldSpread is planning a multi-million euro flotation on London’s Alternative Investment Market (AIM).

The company, whose backers include former Irish football international Kevin Moran, operates a number of financial and sports spread-betting websites and a traditional fixed-odds betting site.

The flotation, which is being handled by British firm Collins Stewart, will take place at the beginning of August.

It is not known at this stage how much the company is looking to raise or its potential value. When it raised €3 million in funding in 2004, from IIB Bank and Merrion Capital, it was valued at €11m.

According to a filing with the AIM, the proceeds of the listing will go towards expanding overseas.

The company said in the filing that the majority of its clients are in Britain and Ireland but that it is also expanding internationally and has a number of overseas joint venture and revenue-sharing relationships, including in Spain and Hungary.

The joint venture is with the South African stock exchange-listed horseracing and betting group Phumelela Gaming & Leisure. WorldSpread owns just 1% of the venture but will split the profits evenly with Phumelela.

Its most recent accounts, for the year to end March 2006, show a loss of €1 million. This is a reduction on the previous year and is mainly the result of breaking into the British market. Its Irish division made a profit of €536,082.

The firm employs 30 people in Dublin.

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