The flotation of digital marketing firm Fuse8 on Aim marks the return of a former Aim company in a new guise as well as the return to the London market of two former Media Square directors.
Award International was a promotions organiser that joined Aim in March 2004 and then fell into financial difficulties. Award lost its Aim quotation on 11 February 2006. Anthony Batty & Co was appointed administrator to the group’s two main subsidiaries on 20 December 2005 and the administration ended in December 2006 when they went into liquidation. Award itself underwent a CVA and this was completed in March 2007. Award joined Plus-quoted on 18 June 2007.
Fuse8 has reversed into Award and the enlarged group has rejoined Aim as Fuse8. Award issued 10.215m shares for a notional valuation of £5m – equivalent to just over 49p a share.
There was a 100-for-one share consolidation at the time of the acquisition of Fuse8. The shares ended trading on Plus-quoted at 0.3p each – equivalent to 30p each after the consolidation.
Fuse8, which was founded in 2000 by executive chairman Mark Walton and client services director Andy Hutchinson, offers a range of digital marketing services including online marketing and search engine optimisation. This is a fast-growing part of the marketing sector. The company has offices in Leeds and Russia.
The business has grown by reinvesting the cash it has generated. Fuse8 reported profits from continuing operations of £378,000 on revenues of £2.06m in the six months to September 2009. That profit is more than for the whole of the previous year, although the corresponding interim profit in the previous year was also higher than for the year as a whole.
Former Media Square chief executive Jeremy Middleton and finance director Graeme Burns have joined the board as non-executives. Burns will oversee the finance function of the business because it does not have a finance director.
At a closing price of 32.5p a share on the first day, Fuse8 is valued at £3.69m. Award was valued at £3.25m when it originally floated.
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