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Emily D. Swoboda

Q & A: Niall O'Kelly

26 March 2008

Irish spread betting company WorldSpreads said this week that it is considering a dual float in Dublin. The company, which raised £5.77 million when it listed on London's Alternative Investment Market last August, was named one of the top-performing Irish listings in 2007, with shares trading at an 80 percent premium to the flotation price by late November -- just three months later.

Now the company is exploring the idea of listing on the Irish Enterprise Exchange (IEX), which launched in early 2005 and is tailored to accommodate small- to mid-sized companies.

IGN spoke with WorldSpreads Chief Financial Officer Niall O'Kelly to determine just how serious the company was about listing in its native Ireland.

Q: Talk about the idea to list on Dublin's Irish Enterprise Exchange. Is it a solid idea or are you just looking at it for now?

A: When we listed on AIM last year we explored the idea of a dual listing but decided to wait as we received a buyout approach during the IPO process that took a lot of time. We decided to concentrate on AIM and look to list on IEX in the future. We are giving the matter serious consideration at present.

Q: When would you float?

A: If we decide to proceed it will be some time in the middle of 2008.

Q: How much do you expect to raise? The IEX is a much smaller market than the AIM. Is it reasonable to expect a float as successful as the one on the AIM, or can you even compare the two?

A: We are not raising any funds as part of the listing. The group is well-financed following the IPO last year. We are simply listing the group’s shares on IEX in order to have a Euro quote, which will facilitate our Irish and European shareholders and will also make our stock more accessible to Irish institutional shareholders.

Q: Tell me why you are exploring the IEX?

A: WorldSpreads is an Irish company and aside from the reasons listed above, we felt that it is a natural progression to look for a listing on an Irish stock exchange. We have a lot of Irish shareholders, many of which have been with the company for many years.

Q: Are you looking at the IEX because it accommodates small- to mid-sized companies?

A: Yes, IEX specializes in small to mid-sized companies. It also has very similar rules to AIM, which cuts down on the red tape and bureaucracy for companies with a dual listing on AIM and IEX.

Q & A: Niall O'Kelly is republished from
Emily D. Swoboda
Emily D. Swoboda