The company’s stock market arrival was intriguing for a number of reasons. First and foremost, Micro Focus is the first genuine software play to float on the main market (rather than AIM) for the best part of four years. Moreover, just a few days prior to listing, the company – whose software allows companies to re-develop their legacy IT systems, rather than splash out on new infrastructure – was forced to curb its fundraising ambitions.
The plan had initially been to offer around 40 million new shares to institutional investors at a price somewhere between 145p and 185p. Instead, Micro Focus eventually reduced its target price to 130p, raising net proceeds of £52.7 million and securing a starting market value of £259 million, £50 million below initial targets.
On completion, chief executive Tony Hill attributed the setback to ‘a challenging marketplace for new issues’. Nonetheless, he professed to being ‘delighted with the result of the offer’ and it appears the market has quickly started to warm to the company, with its shares gaining 19 per cent in just two days of trading.
In 2004 Micro Focus generated profits before goodwill of .4 million (£19.8 million).
For further information visit: www.microfocus.com