Irish tech firms close in on stock listings
Game Account Network (GAN), the London-based business-to-business gambling software firm headed by Dermot Smurfit Jnr, is planning a stockmarket flotation later this month that will raise nearly €18m.
It's likely to result in the firm being valued north of €60m.
Meanwhile Globoforce, a Dublin based business that provided cloud based HR software services for business will raise up to $75m (€65m) in an initial public offering on the NASDAQ.
Mr Smurfit owns almost 17pc of GAN, while his uncle Michael Smurfit owns 15.5pc. Tony Smurfit, the chief operations director of packaging group Smurfit Kappa, owns 11.5pc of GAN. Dermot Desmond's IIU investment vehicle owns 3.6pc.
Michael Smurfit is also a non-executive director at GAN.
Non-executive chairman David O'Reilly owns 6.6pc of the company.
GAN intends to float on Dublin's Enterprise Securities Market and London's Alternative Investment Market on November 25.
GAN and Paddy Power, which is also a customer of the Smurfit firm, are among the gambling companies that have just been granted preliminary licences to operate in New Jersey as the US state is poised to become the first state to permit online betting.
Raising funds through a flotation will give GAN firepower to pursue expansion in the US.
Speaking to the Irish Independent during the summer, Dermot Smurfit Jnr confirmed that GAN was considering a stock market flotation for the firm.
He said earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation at GAN hit €4m in the first half of 2013, compared to just €500,000 during the whole of 2012. Turnover is expected to reach €30m this year compared to €20m in 2012.
Betfair co-founder Andrew Black is also a shareholder in GAN, owning 14.1pc of the company. Earlier this year Mr Black supported Betfair, which is headed by former Paddy Power executive Breon Corcoran, as it rejected a £1bn-plus takeover approach from private equity group CVC.
Davy Stockbroking is acting as adviser and broker for GAN.
Irish based tech firm Globoforce is backed by Barry Maloney's Balderton Capital. Its headquarters is in Park West Business Park in Dublin.
The company filed papers on Friday with the SEC in the US, confirming its floation plans and listing JPMorgan, Credit Suisse and UBS as joint bookrunners for its planned market debut. Turnover in the 12 months to the end of June was $171m, and it plans to list on the NASDAQ under the symbol THNX.