Flotation gives software firm a key to acquire rivals

Irish-based software localisation company Keywords Studios launched the largest technology flotation on the London alternative investment market yesterday.

The initial public offering will give the company an overall valuation of £49.2m (€57m).

The offering is expected to make company founder, Dublin man Giorgio Guastalla, a wealthy individual. However, how much of his holdings in the company he will sell is unknown and he will stay on as a non-executive director.

Keywords placed 56.8% of the companies ordinary shares at a price of £1.23, which is expected to raise the firm £28m in funds.

The Keywords Studios chief executive, Andrew Day, said he was delighted with the market response to the company’s share placing.

“We are delighted that our initial public offering has been successful and there has been such strong interest from leading institutional investors.

“This is an exciting milestone for Keywords Studios as an AIM admission will provide us with the right platform from which to build on our success to date, by extending our service offering and geographical footprint, both organically and by acquisition.”

Mr Day said the company is planning on using that war chest to make acquisitions in the £400m localisation market.

Keywords works with some most biggest games companies in the world like Microsoft, Namco Bandai, Konami, Electronic Arts, and Square Enix. The company helps to translate the language and cultural references of the games for other audiences across the world.

“We are going to be doing some acquisitions. the market is fragmented there are good quality business spread around the world. We think it makes sense to consolidate the supply side of the market,” said Mr Day.

He said investors could expect to hear news of the first acquisitions within nine to 12 months. The company is not only interested in acquiring companies but also talented personnel across the world.


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