(Reuters) - British financial spreadbetting firm CMC Markets should announce details of a planned London stock market listing within about two weeks and float next year, its chief executive and main shareholder said on Thursday.
Peter Cruddas spoke about the planned offering after the company announced a 61 percent rise in underlying annual profit before tax to 51.9 million pounds. But he declined to discuss the likely size of the flotation.
Financial media have speculated the initial public offering (IPO) could value the company at around 1 billion pounds.
“We’re nearing the end of our negotiations with banks. We’re talking fees at the moment, we should be able to make an announcement within the next two weeks,” Cruddas, who founded the company and returned as chief executive in 2013 after a period as chairman, told Reuters.
“What I can tell you is that it won’t be this year. The plan is for us to do something next year, depending on the market.”
He also said CMC - one of a number of online trading platforms that allow ordinary consumers to bet on movements in stocks, foreign exchange and other financial assets - would be looking at acquisitions over the next couple of years but did not need the money from the share sale to do so.
Cruddas currently owns around 90 percent of CMC, with around 10 percent held by U.S. investment bank Goldman Sachs (GS.N).
“The point is that the company now is doing so well. It just feels like we need to be a public company,” Cruddas said.
“Our overheads barely went up last year and yet we increased profits by 60 percent. We can do M&A without the money. For now we’re just looking at getting the float away.”
Reporting By Patrick Graham; Editing by Freya Berry and Pravin Char