Investors rush to tune into Monstermob float

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The Independent Online

The company responsible for allowing Britney Spears, the recent chart-toppers Black Eyed Peas, and the England rugby fans' favourite, Swing Low Sweet Chariot, ring out from mobile phones yesterday, enjoyed a strong stock market debut.

Shares in Monstermob, which listed on the Alternative Investment Market, were placed at 135p each. Market sources said they were oversubscribed by five times. The stock closed at 139.5p, valuing the group at £33m, after hitting a high of 150p during the day.

Martin Higginson, the founder of the company and its managing director, still owns a 49 per cent stake, which yesterday was worth £16m. Other members of the management team own a further 10 per cent.

Monstermob joins a growing list of companies that are braving a flotation as the stock market revives and stabilises. This year has seen a resurgence in initial public offerings, notably the £2bn float of the telephone directory publisher Yell.

Monstermob was formed in 2000 and has a bank of more than 50,000 mobile phone ringtones. It also provides voicemail recordings, games, logos and wallpapers that customers can download from the internet. The placing of 5.97 million shares represents 25.1 per cent of Monstermob's enlarged share capital and raised £4.8m.

Monstermob said the cash raised would be invested in growing its UK market and expanding into Europe. "We believe that the mobile phone content market is set for rapid growth and this flotation will cement our position in the vanguard of this new industry," Mr Higginson said.