IMS Group may float football website

IMS GROUP, the Leeds-based telecoms and new media services company, is considering a separate flotation of its popular football news Internet site Teamtalk.com, the chief executive, Bill Wilson, said last night.

Teamtalk is one of the top 10 UK websites, attracting over 10 million impressions a month - about one-sixth the number of impressions received by Freeserve, Dixons' free Internet service provider.

"We're taking advice from various sources about what it's worth," said Mr Wilson. "Valuations range from huge numbers to not so huge numbers. When you see something like Freeserve go off to pounds 2bn it makes you wonder," he said.

IMS has contracted KPMG and Chase Manhattan to advise on possibilities. "The options range from doing absolutely nothing to doing something similar to Dixons, and everything in between," Mr Wilson said. He added that IMS would consider selling an equity stake in Teamtalk to secure pounds 10m to invest in the online business.

IMS also operates fixed and mobile air-time sales to small and medium- sized businesses, as well as running a live and automated call handling business.

First-half pre-tax profits grew by 45 per cent to pounds 1.19m. The shares yesterday closed up 6p at 247.5p.

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