RealTime IT News

NetValue Share Up Nearly 241 Percent in Paris IPO

The share for the Net audience-measurement company NetValue rocketed to a nearly 241 percent gain when its IPO finally took place on Paris's Nouveau Marché.

Its listing was postponed Thursday and Friday due to overwhelming demand, the share closed at 73 euros (U.S. $76.7), up from 22 euros (U.S. $21.3) -- the top of the hypothetical range given in the IPO prospectus -- on trading volume of 1,136,921 shares. On 3:30pm Tuesday the share was at 79.05 euros (U.S. $76.7).

Founded in March 1998, NetValue is now valued at 640 million euros, reportedly 60 times its expected sales for 2002.

The company is the second French Net company in a week to have its trading halted on the NM. Last week, the ParisBourse had to shut down trading twice on ArtPrice.Com to allow the market to catch its breath.

That share closed yesterday at 50 euros, down 1 percent on the day but up 262 percent from its introductory price of 19.06 euros (U.S. $18.5). ArtPrice.com is valued at 320 million euros (U.S.$311 million).

NetValue is the fifth dot.com company to go public in France since 1999's last half, following Integra, Bourse Direct, Fi System and ArtPrice.Com.

The company made only 2.94 percent, or 2.4 million, of its shares available to private individuals, causing rumbles of discontent among investors. Big investors had elbowed in early.

The company's founding investors included Innovacom, (37.1 percent), Matignon Investissement (20.2 percent) and EG Investments Ltd. (14.2 percent). Deutsche Telekom's T-Venture (10.1 percent) and ABN AMRO Investment Funds (6.7 percent) were among the new corporate investors.

Like its main competitor MMXI, NetValue tracks the online movements of a representative panel of Internet users via software it puts on their computers, to collect and measure data on Web site audience share.

The company has branches in France, the U.K., Germany, Sweden and the U.S. Its most recent report examines the performance of e-commerce sites during the Christmas shopping season. It also publishes monthly top-ten rankings.