Esmertec IPO

Esmertec, a VC-backed Swiss mobile software company, has floated on the Swiss Stock Exchange, raising €63m.

Issued at a share price of CHF18 (€11.6), just below the top of its indicative range, the company was valued at €187m, and provided an exit for seven venture capitalists: BV Group Ventures, Credit Lyonnais, Earlybird, Invision, Partners Group, Quilvest Group, Rothschild Ventures, and Sofinnova Partners.

The shareholders are signed up to a lock-in period of six months and have agreed to coordinate any sale of shares for a further six months. The senior management teams of Esmertec have a lock-in time of a year, and from 12 to 18 months are allowed to sell only half of their shares held prior to the float.

Founded in 1999, Esmertec originally planned to go public before the summer, but citing a problem over an alleged patent infringement and a client placed into administration, the IPO was delayed.

Esmertec, which develops Java software solutions for mobile phones and PDAs, has been a strong performer in the technology sector, seeing its revenues jump from less than €800,000 in 2001 to more than €24m for the first half of 2005. Part of the VCs strategy was to expand the company internationally, which has seen it acquire five companies in three years. Most of its revenues now come from Asia.