WANdisco’s stock market float aims to raise £10m

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FAST-GROWING software company WANdisco is to float on AIM next month, thought to be the first Yorkshire company to come to the stock market in two years.

The Sheffield-based firm will raise £10m from its initial public offering and will use the cash to boost its sales teams in the US, Europe and Asia and fund further growth.

WANdisco’s chief executive David Richards said: “We’re a really good technology story and there aren’t many good technology companies coming to the market from the UK. We’ve got some very high profile customers, but we’ve only just scratched the surface.”

The company’s blue chip clients include Wal-Mart/Asda, Aviva, AT&T, Barclays, Hewlett Packard, Honda, Intel, Johnson & Johnson, Motorola and Nokia.

Much of WANdisco’s appeal is that nearly 80 per cent of its sales come from the US, which is coming out of recession faster than other western countries.

WANdisco has around 200 customers and it believes it could gain a lot more.

The company is best known for its Subversion system, which is aimed at organisations that develop commercial software or administrative packages.

WANdisco said its technology represents a significant departure from the “master-slave” architectures employed by other data replication solutions.

In master-slave architectures, changes can only be written to the master server. This means that if the master server experiences downtime, no updates are possible.

WANdisco’s products immediately replicate changes made against one server to the others so if one server experiences downtime there would be no effect on other servers. The group sells its products through annual subscription.

Revenues rose 30 per cent to £2.5m in 2011 and earnings before share based payments and exceptional costs have gone from a loss of £500,000 in 2010 to a profit of £130,000 in 2011.

Corporate lawyers from DLA Piper’s Sheffield office advised WANdisco. The team was led by partner Jon Kenworthy and legal director Rob McKie, with support from Richard Blackburn and Rachael Wake.

Panmure Gordon is acting as nominated adviser and broker to WANdisco.

WANdisco moved its European centre from London to Sheffield three years ago. The company’s name is an abbreviation of Wide Area Network Distributed Computing.

The last major Yorkshire IPO was skin repair company Tissue Regenix in June 2010.

Analyst Eric Burns, at WH Ireland in Leeds, said: “There haven’t been an awful lot of IPOs generally and even less coming out of the regions. So yes this is significant. It would be good for WANdisco to get away because it’s the first IPO out of Yorkshire in a long time.”