PracticeConsultingThe Financial Week Ahead – Newswatch: IG Group bets on listing move.

The Financial Week Ahead - Newswatch: IG Group bets on listing move.

Spread-betting was once considered the last resort of hardcore gamblers, but online sites are pulling in the punters straight from their office desks for an electronic flutter on the football, stock exchange or the races, writes Jerry Frank.

The IG Group, which set up nearly 25 years ago, has grown online over the last three years to the point where a London Stock Exchange listing is planned by the end of the month. Financial director Tim Hawkins and senior management hope to raise #13m through the share release and market valuation of the company at #110m.

Although management hopes to pump #2m back into the 130 employee business, the flotation will raise money to generate revenue to start paying original shareholders and staff share options.

The group, which provides punters with financial or sporting spread betting options, has grown in pre-tax profit from #1m in 1998 to #10m last year and is looking to acquire some of its direct competitors and move into Europe. ‘The European market is going to be tough. You can bet on anything in the UK. On the continent they look upon you as mad if you ask to put a bet on a general election,’ added Hawkins

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