PracticePeople In PracticeNewswatch: iTouch feels listing pressure.

Newswatch: iTouch feels listing pressure.

Tony O'Reilly, former Irish rugby wing three-quarter turned baked

After three decades in business, Ireland’s most successful businessman and the chief executive of Heinz and Independent News & Media last month hit a hitch in his bid to stake out the huge potential revenues offered by the wireless superhighway when iTouch was forced to almost half its launch price. News & Media has a 50% stake in the iTouch offshoot, which is an internet portal offering content and services via the mobile phone, but investor institutions are growing cautious towards internet IPOs whatever the pedigree. Shares were originally set at between 100p and 130p with the business valued at up to #370m, but had to be almost halved in value last week to 70p giving a market capitalisation of #200m. Chairman Ivan Fallon now has only #49m, rather than #70m, raised from the share issue to fund his expansion plans, but claimed that the money was still enough to fund business growth over the next couple of years. Fallon blamed the lack of comparable business on the market for the overpricing. ‘In the end we had quite a robust institutional interest and we got a pretty realistic valuation,’ he said. www.itouch.co.uk.

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