Promethean to press ahead with £500m IPO plan

Plans unchanged despite other groups blaming poor markets for pulled deals

Promethean, the education business, will this week unveil plans for a stock-market flotation that will value the company at as much as £500m.

The announcement, which could come as early as today, will give some comfort to new-issue specialists, who were rocked last week by the decision of three large companies to postpone plans for flotations amid nervousness about stock-market conditions and investor appetite.

Promethean, which is one of two companies that dominate the worldwide market for the interactive whiteboards now commonly installed in British school classrooms, has been working hard on its flotation plans, but might have been expected to delay the formal announcement of its initial public offering (IPO), following last week's moves by New Look, Merlin Entertainments and Travelport to step back from their stock-market launches. Like last week's businesses, a significant chunk of Promethean is owned by private equity, with Apax Partners having taken a 25 per cent stake in the company in 2004, eight years after it was founded.

However, Apax is thought to be relaxed about the prospects for a successful flotation of the business, which would enable it to realise the value of its entire stake. Crucially, Promethean is a profitable business – it made £26m in 2008, the last year for which figures have been published – that is free of the debt some other companies proceeding to flotation have been saddled with.

Investors' appetite is also likely to be whetted by the growth prospects for the business. The UK has been an early adopter of interactive whiteboard technology, with around 70 per cent of British classrooms now equipped with the devices. Other countries, however, now seem to be copying the UK example, with Promethean having just enjoyed a breakthrough year in North America and building a presence in a string of European countries, as well as the Far East.

Promethean has also developed a number of handheld devices for children which have proved increasingly popular with teachers. A third strand to the product line is Promethean Planet, an online community that enables teachers from around the world to communicate on topics such as lesson plans.

Tony Cann, the business's founder, still owns a 50 per cent stake in Promethean, though it is now chaired by Graham Howe, one of the founders of the mobile-phone giant Orange. Its chief executive, Jean-Yves Charlier, is a former CEO of Colt Telecom.

Despite having taken positive soundings from investors, Promethean and its advisers, Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan Cazenove, will need to keep their nerve in order to get the flotation away. In addition to the three high-profile cases of last week, up to 10 companies are thought to have put IPO plans on hold in recent weeks, such is the nervousness about the fragility of investors' confidence.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
i100 In this video, the late actor Leonard Nimoy explains how he decided to use the gesture for his character
Arts and Entertainment
Secrets of JK Rowling's Harry Potter workings have been revealed in a new bibliography
arts + ents
News
Robert De Niro has walked off the set of Edge of Darkness
news The Godfather Part II actor has an estimated wealth of over $200m
Arts and Entertainment
Fearne Cotton is leaving Radio 1 after a decade
radio The popular DJ is leaving for 'family and new adventures'
Sport
Robbie Savage will not face a driving ban
football'Mr Marmite' faced the possibility of a 28-day ban
Voices
voices
Life and Style
Nearly half of all young people in middle and high income countries were putting themselves at risk of tinnitus and, in extreme cases, irreversible hearing loss
health
News
It was only when he left his post Tony Blair's director of communications that Alastair Campbell has published books
people The most notorious spin doctor in UK politics has reinvented himself
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Life and Style
The new model would be a “pedal assist” bike in which the rider’s strength is augmented by the engine on hills and when they want to go fast
tech
Arts and Entertainment
arts + ents
Life and Style
fashion
Arts and Entertainment
James Franco and Zachary Quinto in ‘I Am Michael’
filmJustin Kelly's latest film tells the story of a man who 'healed' his homosexuality and turned to God
News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

SThree: HR Benefits Manager

£40000 - £50000 per annum + pro rata: SThree: SThree Group have been well esta...

Recruitment Genius: Office Manager / Financial Services

£30000 - £37000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Established in 1999, a highly r...

Jemma Gent: Year End Accountant

£250-£300 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Are you a qualified accountant with strong exp...

Jemma Gent: Management Accountant

£230 - £260 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Do you want to stamp your footprint in histo...

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower