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Last Updated: Thursday, 31 March, 2005, 12:00 GMT 13:00 UK
Spread-betting firm set to float
Soccer stadium
Spread betting covers sport to stock markets
British spread-betting company IG Group has said it is planning to float its shares on the London stock market.

The move comes less than two years after IG left the London market following a 143m management buyout backed by private equity firm CVC.

IG did not say how much it was hoping to raise from the float, which is expected to take place next month.

IG offers spread betting on financial instruments such as shares and currencies, as well as sporting events.

'Exciting time'

The spread-betting market has enjoyed huge growth in recent years with investors using it as an alternative to traditional stock market deals.

"This is an exciting time for our industry and the development of our business," said IG Group chairman Jonathan Davie.

"Our IPO will position the group for its next growth phase, whilst simultaneously providing an opportunity for IG to welcome new investors to participate in the continuing success of the group."

As it announced its intention to float, IG Group said turnover for the six months to 30 November 2004 reached 29.5m, up 27.7% on the same period a year ago.

Earnings before interest, exceptional items, taxation, depreciation and amortisation rose 40% to 16.1m.

Successful gamble

IG was founded in 1974 by Stuart Wheeler, originally allowing UK residents to speculate on the price of gold at a time when exchange controls prevented them from buying it, except at a premium.

Over the years, its betting business expanded further into financial markets and in the 1990s it began offering spread bets on sporting events.

IG Group originally floated on the London market in 2000. But in early 2003 Mr Wheeler said he wanted to sell his stake in the firm, partly to fund the renovation of his castle in Chilham, Kent.

The company's shares were delisted in July 2003 following the management buyout.




SEE ALSO:
IG agrees management buyout
29 Jul 03 |  Business
Wheeler to sell IG Group stake
20 Jan 03 |  Business


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