Kim Dotcom: Mega Listing For Cyber Fugitive
A new company founded by one of the world's most wanted cyber fugitives is to be listed on the New Zealand stock exchange with an estimated value of more than £100m.
Internet file storage company Mega Ltd announced its planned listing just over a year after it was launched by indicted entrepreneur Kim Dotcom.
Mr Dotcom built the company from his lavish estate in New Zealand under the shadow of an extradition bid by United States authorities.
He is wanted on online piracy charges for founding the now closed file-sharing site Megaupload.
Since its launch, his new venture has amassed an estimated value of NZ$210m (£109m).
The company, which offers encrypted cloud-based data storage, boasts an estimated seven million users who have stored roughly 860 million files.
Mr Dotcom took to Twitter on Tuesday to celebrate the news.
He wrote: "Indicted. Raided. On Bail. All assets frozen without trial. But we don't cry ourselves to sleep. We built #Mega from 0 into a $210m company."
Mega has said it will achieve its listing on the New Zealand stock market through a move known as a reverse takeover.
That involves using the small, already public, company TRS Investments as a vehicle.
TRS will buy Mega through a share issue to its shareholders. They will then own 99% of TRS, which will change its name to Mega.
The method can save time and money which would otherwise be spent on the complex process of a private company going public.
TRS shares were up 900% after news of the deal broke on Tuesday.
Mr Dotcom stepped down as director of Mega last August, although his wife continues to own 26.5% of the company through a trust.
The German national, born Kim Schmitz, was arrested in 2012 alongside three Megaupload colleagues on charges of online piracy, money laundering and racketeering.
Their assets were frozen and the site was shut down. Mr Dotcom spent a month in prison before he was released on bail.
US authorities say Megaupload encouraged users to store and share copyrighted material which cost film studios and record companies an estimated $500m (£303m).
Mr Dotcom says he cannot be held responsible for users who stored illegally obtained content. His extradition hearing, which has been delayed several times, is scheduled to take place in July.