Gamma’s plans for a stock market flotation are driven by a desire to gain a greater share of the public sector market and to increase its brand profile, according to marketing director Richard Bligh.
News broke of Gamma’s intention to float last week after it emerged that it has hired Investec, the investment bank, to run an investor roadshow ahead of the Initial Public Offering (IPO).
Speaking to Mobile, Bligh said that a floatation would give Gamma greater leverage when bidding for larger public sector contracts and raise its brand profile.
He added: ‘It is all about brand and credibility. We have had a lot of success in the public sector but rightly or wrongly a lot of public sector organisations feel more comfortable doing business with a publicly quoted company.
He added: ‘From a brand perspective we have grown in 11 years to a £150m turnover business, so this is just another part of our success story. We certainly don’t need to raise money. We have a very successful cash position.’
Gamma competes with the likes of BT, Virgin Media and Daisy in the telecoms market. It employs around 500 staff across five offices in the UK and runs a software developer team from an office in Budapest. The company’s annual operating profit was around £17m last year with Gamma registering six consecutive years of double-digit growth.
This will be Gamma’s second attempt to float. In 2011, the company abandoned plans to list due to market conditions. The company has made clear it will shelve this latest attempt to float, if current market volatility continues. Both clothing retailer Fat Face and online retailer The Hut recently pulled out of IPOs expressing concern about unpredictable market conditions.
Bligh said: ‘Since looking at floating in 2011, the idea has never been off the agenda. From our perspective at some point we will very probably do an IPO. We watch the market all the time as timing is crucial. It is a question of when is a sensible time.’
Referring to plans to roll out investor roadshows with Investec, he said: ‘We have spoken to Investec and when the time is appropriate we will take that relationship forward but there is no programme as yet.’
Gamma’s strategy will not change radically after an IPO, Bligh insisted. He said: ‘Irrespective of an IPO our strategy is not going to change. We just want to continue being successful in delivering our fixed, mobile and data services and in getting better and better at doing that, so it is more of the same.’
He said mobile has become an increasingly important part of Gamma’s business. ‘It is growing in significance for us and it is one of our faster growing products, along with IP telephony.’