Dixon's is gearing up to float Freeserve and plans to offer its 1.3 million users priority share allocations, according to sources.
No timetable has yet been put on the £1 billion to £2 billion float, but it will be the first in the UK to take place online. Sources maintain that Dixons will advertise the float on its home page. Freeserve members will click on a button to order a prospectus but will purchase the shares via conventional means.
"We intend to proceed with the float," a spokesperson for Freeserve told VNU Newswire. "There has been some speculation that members will get priority share allocation and that is our intention, but at the moment we have no timescale so we cannot confirm anything."
As well as small investors, Dixons is also looking for institutional investors in both the UK and the US, where it will be listed on the Nasdaq market.
It is likely that Dixons will only sell 10 per cent of Freeserve. Another 10 per cent will be on the issue of new shares. Freeserve is being advertised by Cazenove and Credit Suisse First Boston.
Analysts believe that if the float goes to plan Dixons stands to make a 10,000 per cent return on its capital investment.
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