CentralNic raises £7m in float on Alternative Investment Market

INTERNET domain name provider CentralNic Group began trading on the junior stock market yesterday after raising £7m.

The firm, which sells premium domains with endings such as uk.com and eu.com, hopes to cash in on rising demand for personalised web addresses.

“The response from investors to the IPO has reaffirmed our belief that CentralNic is a very attractive investment proposition, and the company now has the funds in place to take advantage of additional opportunities to win new TLD [top level domain] contracts,” said chief executive Ben Crawford. “We look forward to the next stage of growth and the launch of the new portfolio of TLDs which CentralNic will be servicing.”

The firm placed 15.38 per cent of its enlarged share capital to raise £5m for itself and £2m for those selling shares. The deal valued CentralNic at £32.5m.

Shares in the company closed at 65.5p yesterday, up from the placing price of 55p.

ADVISERS CENTRALNIC’S STOCK MARKET DEBUT

JOHN GOOLD NICK COWLES ROSS ANDREWS

THE SUCCESSFUL float of CentralNic yesterday marked the second coup of the summer for broker Zeus Capital.

Zeus, based in Manchester but growing its offices in London, acted as joint broker and nominated adviser for Conviviality Retail, the owner of Bargain Booze, during its £64m admission to the junior stock market in July.

On the CentralNic team, Zeus fielded a team headed up by co-chief executive John Goold, along with directors Nick Cowles and Ross Andrews.

The broker has around 30 clients, mostly firms that are aiming for the Alternative Investment Market. Zeus is working with online fashion brand Boohoo as it assesses its options, with a float potentially on the cards, and is understood to have several other retail IPOs in the pipeline over the coming months.

Joining Zeus on the placing was business law firm DWF, led on this deal by head of corporate Jay Birch, alongside accounting firm Crowe Clark Whitehill, led by audit and corporate advisory partner Stephen Bullock.
By Marion Dakers