Angle poised to join AIM in £24m float

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The Independent Online

Angle, a consulting group which has turned itself into an incubator for new technologies, has become the latest company to confirm the growing appetite for speculative investment opportunities.

Angle, a consulting group which has turned itself into an incubator for new technologies, has become the latest company to confirm the growing appetite for speculative investment opportunities.

The company - formed a decade ago by a former management consultant at KPMG - said yesterday that it had raised £9m in a share offer that was oversubscribed. It is floating on the junior AIM market next week with a valuation of £24m.

Angle was founded by Andrew Newland, chief executive, using £100,000 of his own money, and remained without external funding until five years later. The float values his stake at about £10m. Four other staff members will be made millionaires.

The company earns revenue by advising large companies, academic institutions and government bodies on how best to commercialise their inventions. It has worked for BT, the Department for Trade and Industry and the University of Pennsylvania.

It has also established five joint ventures with its clients which will develop their intellectual property in areas such as biotechnology, electronics and materials. One of the five is close to being sold in a deal that will net Angle £2.5m.

Angle is the latest in a line of flotations that have signalled a clear upturn in the equity markets this year. Last week, Cambridge Silicon Radio raised £89m in London's biggest tech IPO in three years, while Ark Therapeutics successfully raised £55m. The Stock Exchange lists aabout a further 20 companies whose shares are slated to start trading in March.

Mr Newland said that investors, including business angels, had to accept the issue of shares at a lower valuation than the last funding round in 2000, but that the proceeds were vital to expand the technology investments of the business.

He said: "It has been a frustrating time over the last few years, but we are delighted in the renewed interest in the sector. We have already created five businesses, but the purpose of the placing is to allow us to create a further 10 over the next few years."

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