Consumer price comparison website Moneysupermarket is getting ready to float on the London Stock Exchange at the end of the month, hoping to raise £180m through shares sold.
The company has set a price range of 170 pence to 210 pence per share, meaning if it floated at mid price it would be worth approximately £1bn.
The firm expects to generate about £180m from the late July listing, when approximately 40% will be up for grabs.
The principal aim of the sale is to cut debt, which currently stands at £150m following credit it took on when co-founder and chief executive Simon Nixon last month acquired the remaining approximately 40% of the business from former partner Duncan Cameron.
But Moneysupermarket also hopes to fund the growth of the business, and has expressed an interest in making future acquisitions in “complementary” businesses or technology.
Moneysupermarket operates in a highly competitive arena of price comparison websites, fighting other popular sites including USwitch. It claimed to have received 64 million unique visitors in 2006, and generates money from advertisers, financial services firms and brokers.
It claimed recently that the rapid expansion of its business had led it to begin reviewing the capacity of its hardware, bandwidth and IT staffing levels every week to help it cope.
The company, which employs 235 IT professionals and uses agile development techniques, is planning to complete a total of 96 IT projects by the end of the year to help it manage the growth in its business.