Float to value Royalblue at pounds 40m

Christopher Sharples, the former head of the Securities & Futures Authority and his partner, David Taylor, will be worth pounds 8m on paper when Royalblue the software company they set up in 1982 is floated on the Stock Exchange next month, writes Clifford German.

The two partners between them hold about 40 per cent of the company, the management a further 25 per cent, and venture capital backers Advent has 20 per cent and 3i has15 per cent. The flotation is expected to value the company at around pounds 40m.

The shareholders will each sell around 20 per cent of their shares by way of a placing, and the group will raise pounds 10m in new money. The company was originally Intercom data Systems before being renamed last year.

The float is intended to raise the company's profile, and finance future business ventures. Hoare Govett is the financial adviser, sponsor and broker to the company. The company's turnover has grown by 50 per cent and profits by184 per cent compound over the last three years. Profits reached pounds 2.02m in 1996, on turnover of pounds 11.68m.

Royalblue employs about 160 staff, based in Woking with offices in London and New York. It has 450 customers. the largest of which accounted for 8 per cent of revenues over the last three years. The company is a market leader in supplying software products and services to three distinct and fast-growing markets according to the pathfinder prospectus published yesterday.

Its products include fidessa, a trading support system for dealers in international markets, HelpDesk which produces software for IT help desks and customer support systems and Rostrvm, a computer telephony integration system.

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