Michael Grade hired by Hemscott as it mulls IPO

Hemscott.net, the financial publisher that reinvented itself as an internet company, yesterday appointed Michael Grade as its non-executive chairman as prepares for a possible flotation.

Hemscott, which split off from the Hemmington Scott publishing business this year, said the head of former Channel 4 would take up the post immediately and work alongside its chief executive, Ros Wilton.

The online publisher, named Kevin O'Byrne, the former Quaker Oats director, as its chief financial officer earlier this month and also appointed merchant bank NM Rothschild to review its options. "A flotation is one of the options that Hemscott is exploring," a spokesman said.

Set up in July 1999, Hemscott was demerged from Hemmington Scott in January to focus on the distribution of financial, corporate and professional information via the internet.

The online arm took with it the bulk of the company, including Hemmington Scott's database, and provides information on its hemscott.com website as well as further financial data to individuals and companies on a subscription basis.While it has not released financial data, it is widely believed to have a relatively strong revenue base.

Mr Grade arrives fresh from leading a £62m management buy-in of Pinewood Studios. He recently completed the break-up of his family-founded company First Leisure and took up the post of non-executive chairman of the publishing group Octopus. He is also a non-executive director of the lottery franchise holder Camelot.