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Investors Go Mad for Free Shares

Light Reading
News Analysis
Light Reading
1/30/2004

French telecom group Iliad, owner of progressive French broadband ISP Free, has completed a stunning debut on the Premier Marché of the Euronext Paris exchange following an IPO that was oversubscribed more than 25 times.

The massive demand saw the shares offered at €16.30 (US$20.32), the very top of the range, in the first technology IPO in France for three years (see Shares for Free!). The shares debuted today with the ticker symbol ILD and closed at €21.25 ($26.49), up 30 percent, valuing the firm at just over €1 billion ($1.25 billion).

The initial listing raised €81.5 million ($101.6 million), with an over-allotment option expected to raise a further €13.5 million ($16.8 million). Much of the money raised will be used to continue expansion of the company's network and DSL subscriber base.

— Ray Le Maistre, International Editor, Boardwatch

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