Redbus in £82m rights issue

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The Independent Online

Redbus Interhouse, a technology company which provides internet and communication groups with access to voice and data networks, yesterday announced an £82m rights issue to help fund its European expansion plans.

Redbus Interhouse, a technology company which provides internet and communication groups with access to voice and data networks, yesterday announced an £82m rights issue to help fund its European expansion plans.

Redbus shares closed up 6.35 per cent at 310p after the group said it was offering 30 million shares priced at 280p to existing investors and institutions. The stock has almost doubled in value since May on excitement about the company's prospects.

John Porter, Redbus's executive chairman, said: "We now have all the money we need to roll out our high specification network in Europe." He said the group hoped to have a total of at least 21 broadband internet centres in operation by the end of 2001.

Mr Porter is the son of Dame Shirley Porter. He was involved in the development of Demon, the internet service provider, before it was sold to Scottish Telecom for £66m in 1998.

The company has one site in London and another in Paris and is targeting future openings in Milan, Madrid, Frankfurt, Prague and Luxembourg. The web hosting market is forecast to expand from $4bn (£2.84bn) in 2000 to more than $16bn by 2004.

Under the terms of the rights issue, existing shareholders will be offered one share at 280p for every four shares held, though some major investors are expected to allow their entitlements to be taken up by institutions.

Redbus also reported an operating loss before goodwill amortisation of £1.33m on sales of £391,000 for the three months ended 30 June.

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