Thermal imaging firm set for £100m float

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The Independent Online

E2V Technologies, which makes thermal imaging cameras and whose roots lie in Second World War radar technology, will today announce plans for a £100m float.

E2V Technologies, which makes thermal imaging cameras and whose roots lie in Second World War radar technology, will today announce plans for a £100m float.

The announcement will be a boost to the market for initial public offerings (IPOs) which, after a strong start to the year, has faltered recently. Yesterday it emerged that Shearings, the coach company, had cancelled its plans for a float.

For 30 years e2v, based in Chelmsford, Essex, with 1,300 staff, was owned by GEC which then became Marconi. It was bought by a 3i-backed management buyout in July 2002.

Its two product groups - electronic tubes and sensors - are used in various applications including cancer radiotherapy treatment and space programmes including the Hubble Telescope. Sales in the 12 months to the end of March were £96.7m and the company had an operating profit of £9.9m - an increase of 46 per cent. The company exports 69 per cent of its products to 50 countries.

The group is being brought to the market by ABN Amro and NM Rothschild. Hoare Govett, part of ABN Amro, will be the company's broker. The float will be on the main market of the London Stock Exchange.

Keith Attwood, chief executive of e2v, said: "Our success to date reflects our ability to exploit new market opportunities through the application of existing and emerging technologies and working closely with customers to produce effective and innovative technological solutions. With leading products, good recurring revenues, a healthy order-book and a talented group of employees, we believe e2v is well placed to take advantage of exciting opportunities in our niche markets."

George Kennedy, the deputy chairman of Vernalis, will be chairman of e2v.

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