Float should put pounds 30m tag on Sharelink

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The Independent Online
SHARELINK, the Birmingham-based broker formed in 1987 that operates an execution-only service by telephone, should be capitalised well in excess of pounds 30m when it is floated this summer, writes Topaz Amoore.

David Jones, chief executive, said the timing of the float had not been set but Sharelink had begun marketing it to around 50,000 of its customers. The company was gaining new clients nationally at the rate of 1,000 a week.

'Everybody eulogises about Firstdirect and Direct Line, but we were there first,' he said. 'We're not following Firstdirect - they have followed us.'

As well as providing a share-dealing service Sharelink offers personal equity plans, services in traded options and US shares, postal share-dealing and research on 650 quoted companies.

Last year the company made profits of pounds 3.5m on turnover of pounds 14m without the boost from any privatisation issues.

'We have a proven skill and ability to grow organically, but in addition we are looking at other expansion opportunities,' Mr Jones said.

In 1992 a buyout of Sharelink from its original backers, BT and Albert E Sharp, the stockbroker, left management with 30 per cent of the shares. Other shareholders include Foreign & Colonial, CINVen and Eagle Star.

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