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Wednesday, 5 April, 2000, 19:43 GMT 20:43 UK
Online business to brave market
Blackstar's internet sales have doubled month by month
Blackstar estimate the video retail market is worth $33 billion
Northern Ireland online video retailer BlackStar has unveiled its plans to float on the stock exchange in a deal worth up to 200m.

The owners of the Belfast based company which sells videos and DVD disks on the internet say they are not deterred by current market instability.

BlackStar co-founder Jeremy Glover said he hoped the flotation would raise about 50m to 60m in new shares.

He said the company expected to have a market value of around 250m to 300m when it is listed on the London Stock Exchange in the final quarter of this year.

BlackStar's other two co-founders, Tony Bowden and Darryl Collins, also own 16.5 percent each of the two-year-old firm.

If the flotation goes according to plan, the three co-founders will each be worth an estimated 40m.

Mr Glover said neither he nor his partners planned to sell their existing shares into the float. BlackStar is likely to choose an adviser and broker in the next few weeks, he added.

He said the company was not daunted by the recent sharp sell-off in high-tech shares which culminated on Tuesday with a 13 percent sell-off of the tech-laden Nasdaq index.

'Good for the market'

The index recovered to end off 1.77 percent and opened firmer on Wednesday, but it was still down sharply from March highs.

"A lot of readjustment has taken place (in the market) in the last month and it's our view that that's actually good for the market.

"We have always taken a long-term view of our market." He added that investors were now looking for online retailers with a proven track record.

"The wheat from the chaff is only now being sorted out and I think the stock market is realising that now," he said.

Mr Glover estimates that the global market for video and DVD sales, excluding rentals to be worth $33 billion and says it aims to become a global leader in online sales.

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11 Jan 00 | Northern Ireland
Online retailer in 200m deal
11 Jan 00 | Business
BT makes 1.5bn entry into Ireland
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