Israeli tech stars head to the UK for their stock market flotations

The UK market appreciates a company that is growing and also profitable

Click to follow
The Independent Online

The Israeli marketing technology company Matomy Media Group is to float on the London stock market as a wave of other firms from Israel look to follow suit.

Matomy is aiming to win a stock market value of up to £300m despite not even having an office in Britain.

The seven-year-old business looked at Tel Aviv and New York and its decision to raise £60m in London is a boost for the City in its efforts to attract tech firms.

The Israeli gaming firm XL Media hopes to float in London and another digital advertising company, Marimedia, could also list in the UK.

The area around the Israeli city of Tel Aviv has proved to be a dynamic tech hub and has been dubbed “Silicon Wadi”.

“We find the UK market appreciates a company like us that is growing and is also profitable,” said Matomy’s chief executive, Ofer Druker, in a dig at tech firms that float in America before they make a profit.

Matomy’s profits before exceptionals were £13.1m on revenues of £193.5m last year.

Mr Druker said the rise of “the connected consumer” who switches between computer, phone and tablet is “creating a lot of opportunities for advertisers to reach people at the right time, with the right spot”.

Matomy claims to offer a “win-win” for clients such as American Express and the games firm Zynga as it charges only if a campaign hits performance targets.

The former ITV advertising boss Rupert Howell and ex-Channel 4 radio boss Nathalie Schwarz will be non-executive directors.

UBS, Merrill Lynch, Canaccord, Leumi Partners and Rothschild are working on the initial public offering (IPO).

The London Stock Exchange has been keen to encourage British and foreign tech firms to list in London by easing listing rules and backing the Government’s Tech City initiative to promote the UK as a tech hub.

The mood has changed from 2012 when leading entrepreneurs and venture capital firms were voicing fears that high-growth firms were choosing New York’s Nasdaq over London.

However, City insiders warned that there was also an increase in less attractive companies looking to cash in on the buoyant market for new share issues.

One source said privately that it knew of at least one investment bank which has recently turned down a foreign tech company that wants to float in London.

The IPO market is strong after the successes of Royal Mail and Foxtons in London and Twitter in New York, but some investors remain cautious after the disastrous floats of the Indonesian mining firm Bumi and the Indian energy company Essar.