Changes to tech listing rules tempt Mimecast to consider London IPO
Friday 28 September 2012
One of Britain's fastest-growing technology companies has said the chances that it could float on the London stock market have increased after the Government signalled that it could ease listing rules.
Cloud-computing specialist Mimecast, which has just been valued at more than $300m (£185m) after a new fundraising, said an initial public offering was a "desirable milestone" in the next few years.
Peter Bauer, the chief executive, admitted that Mimecast was more tempted to float in New York but a more positive approach by City regulators could change that.
"There is a gravitational force towards the US stock market," Mr Bauer admitted. "But certainly some of the recent developments and statements of intentions around the London Stock Exchange from the Government – and also in response to the lobbying that our investor, Index Ventures, has been doing – have put the LSE back on the radar for us as a consideration."
Mr Bauer was speaking as Mimecast reported that it had raised $62.25m from Insight Venture Partners and Dawn Capital.
The London-based firm, which specialises in email management, archiving and security for more than 6,000 clients, claimed the fundraising represented "one of the largest investments in a UK technology firm" in recent years.
Mr Bauer and his co-founder Neil Murray – who are both from South Africa – set up Mimecast in 2003 and plan to use the new cash to expand in the US.
He dismissed suggestions email was out-moded in the social media age but said Mimecast's software helped to make it "much more effective".
Mimecast is keen to float when the market conditions are right. "We talk internally about developing what we call IPO-grade fitness levels," Mr Bauer explained.
UK regulators have come under fire from many tech firms and investors which say that excessive regulation had made London an unattractive place for an IPO.
In response, the Government and the LSE proposed last week that tech companies would have to float only 10 per cent of their shares, rather than 25 per cent, and they would also have to meet less onerous information disclosure rules.
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