Digital youth publisher LBG Media, also known as LadBible, started a successful day of trading on the London Stock Exchange’s AIM market today, with shares already climbing to 195p by midday.
Following the initial placing of 17.2m new shares and 46.3m existing shares at a price of 175p, the group’s shares opened at around 200p, with an expected market cap of £360m.
Discussing their market debut, LBG Media’s co-founders Solly Solomou and Arian Kalantari, said: “The reception we have received from investors has been very positive and we are excited to be embarking on the next of phase of our growth story with the listing on AIM providing us with the platform to continue to grow well into the future.”
“We remain committed to creating exciting, engaging and socially responsible content that gives the youth generation a voice and appropriately represents their interests. The reception we have received from investors has been very positive and we are excited to be embarking on the next of phase of our growth story with the listing on AIM providing us with the platform to continue to grow well into the future”, the founders added in their statement.
LadBible has raised gross proceeds worth £30m for the company, leaving £81.1m for selling shareholders. Market expectations are also very strong growth in FY21 (ending this month) with revenue anticipated to be up from £30m to £52m and adjusted EBITDA tripling from £5.3m to £16.2m.
Founded in 2012, the group owns a portfolio of online titles including LADbible, SPORTbible, Tyla, GAMINGbible and UNILAD, boasting 262 million social media followers worldwide.
The news of a potential IPO came after the group reported strong results last month, doubling profits to £4.1m on record sales of £30.2m.
The media company’s explosive growth has been largely attributed to filling the vacuum left by the ‘lads’ magazines culture of the early noughties, and replacing it with comedic online content, aimed to be shared.
LadBible’s debut also contrasts with Buzzfeed’s underwhelming entrance to Wall Street earlier this month.
Prior to going public, investors in the SPAC pulled 94 per cent of their money out, according to the Financial Times, and the company has struggled to gain momentum ever since. With a $1.5bn (£1.1bn) listing through a “blank cheque” company, shares in Buzzfeed have dropped more than a quarter in its first week.
Alice Pickthall, senior analyst at Enders Analysis, said that the real play for LadBible moving forward will be to scale, and with a glance at the financials, Pickthall said there is a clear opportunity to drive revenue from non-advertising, which currently only makes up four per cent of its current revenue.
Indeed, discussing the disappointing Buzzfeed IPO, Pickthall said “it’s got a tough road ahead. Online advertising is booming, and whilst a rising tide lifts all boats that ad spend isn’t being split equally with Meta, Google, and Amazon taking the lion’s share.”