Financial News

  • 4 February 2014, 11:10

'Big Brother' CCTV Firm Joins City IPO Frenzy

A manufacturer of video surveillance systems that counts Nissan's giant car plant in Sunderland among its biggest British customers is to join the frenzy of companies vying to list on the London stock market.

Sky News understands that Milestone Systems, a Danish-headquartered business backed by Index Ventures, one of the UK's most successful technology investors, plans to float in the next few months.

Milestone has appointed investment bankers at Rothschild to oversee the process, sources said on Monday.

The company, which has a big presence in the UK, is behind sophisticated surveillance software used by many large businesses.

Index, best-known for its early-stage investment in Skype, ploughed $27m into Milestone in 2008 in return for a minority stake in the company.

The global market for video surveillance is worth more than 8bn, with demand being driven by increasing digitisation of parts of the security industry.

Milestone's float will come during a period of frenetic activity among City bankers as they try to take companies public, buoyed by the improving UK economy and rising stock markets.

Businesses looking at floats are spread across a wide range of sectors, although high street retailers are particularly active in considering the move.

One of the factors behind the deluge of prospective share sales is the vast number of companies bought by private equity firms during the last decade.

A number of botched flotations resulted in a protracted impasse between institutional investors. However, that freeze has begun to thaw to the extent that the capital markets are now more open again to listings by private equity-backed companies.

Fund managers cautioned that recent earnings disappointments by blue-chip companies and volatility in emerging markets could conspire to spook investors during the coming weeks.

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