Net Firms Join Forces for Online IPO

Computershare and Web content developer Spike Networks have partnered to launch Australia’s reportedly first Internet-delivered initial public offering.

The IPO, which is a precursor to Spike’s float on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX), is designed to automate the share application process for investors and is the first domestic service of its kind for equity capital raisings.

Through the service investors will be able to both apply and pay for shares online, reducing the time and removing some of the inefficiencies inherent to the current paper-based share application process.

Spike anticipates it will raise A$32.62 million from the offer of 22.5 million shares with the offer price of A$1.45 a share. This will give the public 26.4 per cent ownership of the company with the rest held by existing shareholders.

Investors can browse Spike’s prospectus from its Web site. From there they can complete and submit an electronic share application form, receive confirmation the form was received, and pay for their shares by cheque or through BPay, an Internet or telephonne payment service which is offered by 12 Australian banks.

Computershare, which developed the e-commerce part of the system, believes it offers broader and more streamlined access, as the IPO details are available 24 hours a day from the desktop, and the BPay system immediately confirms the processing of payments.

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