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Net.IPO focuses on VC activity

Net.IPO, the German online investment bank, has shut down its IPO business. It will now concentrate solely on its venture capital division. The decision to wind down its IPO activities comes as no surprise at a time where IPOs have dried up on the Neuer Markt as they have elsewhere.

The firm has significantly reduced its headcount from 30 to just five and has been forced to close its offices in Italy, France, Belgium and Spain. It has also given up its banking license. Timo Davia of Net.IPO said there would be no possibility of restarting the IPO business, even when markets did pick up. He said: “We thought it best to concentrate completely on our VC business and the companies that we hold a stake in.”

Net.IPO has funds of DM50 million under management, raised from its own IPO three years ago. It is now focusing on the development of its pan-European investment portfolio of online service providers. It holds minority stakes in companies such as FinanceNet in France, German wallstreet-online.de, Soldionline.it in Italy, Web Financial Group in Spain and NetMedia in Eastern Europe.

As far as raising further funds is concerned, Davia said: “We have no intention right now to start fund raising.

It is not necessary. We are focusing on the reshaping of the firm and this will take some time. After this we will think about raising new funds.”

The team is currently being managed by two of the Net.IPO board members. Paul Folkes Davies and Claus Dieter Hermanni are both assuming responsibility for the restructuring and organisation of the firm.