SmartFocus seeks AIM listing

Arbuthnot has been appointed broker to software concern SmartFocus ahead of the fast-growing company’s proposed flotation on AIM this September.

SmartFocus has developed software that enables customers to target and execute marketing campaigns more accurately.

The Bristol-based company has 300 customers, principally household names, including clothing company Boden, electrical retailer Comet, car rental firm Avis, Carphone Warehouse, Lloyds TSB bank and discount clothes retailer Matalan. The group’s product allows users to link multiple databases together and check the impact of a marketing campaign within seconds.

SmartFocus lost £60,000 in 2002, but since then it is believed to have progressed rapidly. No valuation has yet been given, though Foresight Technology Venture Capital Trust, which holds a fifth of the company’s shares, recently valued the concern at £5 million.

The float should boost the value of Foresight’s C shares, which are now worth £23.5 million or 67.2p a share. The VCT’s original shares have been the best performing of this specialised class of investment trust, having paid out dividends of 164.4p so far.

At the end of April SmartFocus bolstered its board by appointing advertising executive Chris Gater as a non-executive director. He built up Brann into a £200 million business, before selling the group to French media giant Havas in 2000.

Leslie Copeland

Gordon Yost

Leslie was made Editor for Growth Company Investor magazine in 2000, then headed up the launch of Business XL magazine, and then became Editorial Director in 2007 for the online and print publication portfolio...

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