Autonomy eyes London listing

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The Independent Online

In a move that will delight the UK's technology investors, Cambridge-based software-maker Autonomy may finally be getting a London listing.

In a move that will delight the UK's technology investors, Cambridge-based software-maker Autonomy may finally be getting a London listing.

The group is understood to have approached a range of advisers with a view to obtaining a full listing by the early part of next year. It is also thought to be using the opportunity to raise around £750m.

Autonomy, which is currently traded on the Nasdaq and Easdaq exchanges, is run by Mike Lynch, Britain's first internet billionaire. He has in the past referred to long-term plans to list in London, but continued to delay. Now those plans may have been brought forward significantly to meet both the company's and investors' appetite for more liquidity.

The company did not offer a comment beyond agreeing that a London listing was part of its general strategy.

When Autonomy listed on Easdaq in Brussels and New York's Nasdaq in 1998, this appeared the logical choice. The City had yet to work up a taste for technology or internet stocks, and since the company was under three years old, it could not then apply to enter the London Stock Exchange.

But following the success of the TechMARK index in London, and new regulations that encouraged technology companies to list, former obstacles have been lifted. Nevertheless, Mr Lynch has so far been reluctant to make a firm statement on when he would take the company to market here.

Autonomy has enjoyed an extremely successful run on both Nasdaq and Easdaq. Although many tech stocks, including Autonomy, have had a bumpy ride, the group's market history has been remarkable. The shares spent a long time trading in the $5 range, but when technology was most in favour, soared to $218.

Though the valuation is now some way down from those heights, if it came to London it would be worth around £3bn, which would make it a prime candidate for an early entrance to the FT-SE 100 index.

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