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Liberty Surf Aims for $477 Million Paris IPO

Liberty Surf said it is prepared to launch its IPO on the Paris stock market next week, and the company intends to raise 300 to 500 million euros ($286 to $477 million) through the listing.

The French free ISP plans to enter the Paris market through a flotation of 10.9 million shares on March 16. In ramping up to the IPO, Liberty Surf acquired pioneer British free ISP X-Stream and Spanish portal Hispavista.

The share is expected to worth from 35.5 up to 41 euros. The company will sell between 15 and 17.5 percent of shares to the public, and registered its previous year's net income as 460 million euros.

Ninety percent of the shares made public will be sold to institutional investors in France and abroad, and 10 percent to French private investors. Deutsche Bank is underwriting the share issue.

Owned by Group Arnault's Internet incubator Europ@web and British retailer KingFisher, Liberty Surf was created in April 1999 and quickly became one of the biggest ISPs in France. The company's revenues were dented by its acquisitions, reporting a 22.4 million euro loss through the purchase of Nomade, telecom operator AXS, community site Republica, and an investment in Centpourcent. Its turn-over did not exceed 6 million Euros.



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