iTouch to raise £50m in market flotation

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Independent Newspapers, publisher of The Independent on Sunday, is set to announce the flotation of iTouch, the mobile phone information company in which it has a majority stake.

Independent Newspapers, publisher of The Independent on Sunday, is set to announce the flotation of iTouch, the mobile phone information company in which it has a majority stake.

The flotation will be on the London Stock Exchange and is likely to raise around £50m for the development of the business, which provides news and information services delivered over mobile phones. London-based iTouch is expected to be valued at more than £250m.

The company was founded in Cape Town by two entrepreneurs, Avi Azulay and Wayne Pitout, who remain as joint managing directors and own 29 per cent of its shares. The remaining shares are owned by Independent Newspapers, the media and marketing partner for the business.

iTouch is now expanding into Australia, New Zealand, the UK and Ireland and the plan is to develop the business across Europe and Asia.

It started life as an information service for Vodacom, the South African affiliate of Vodafone AirTouch, the UK's largest company. Last October it linked with Vodafone in the UK to provide news and information services, a short message facility and billing data for mobile phone users.

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