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Apertio AIMs for 2007 IPO

Hot IMS player Apertio plans to list in London next year after growing its revenues, customer base, and headcount this year

August 11, 2006

2 Min Read
Apertio AIMs for 2007 IPO

Telecom database specialist Apertio Ltd. is planning an IPO in London in 2007 and has already set the public listing wheels in motion, according to the company's VP of marketing, Andrew Wyatt.

He says the company, which sells HLR (home location register, the main databases of mobile subscriber information) and HSS (home subscriber server, the next-generation HLR for IMS environments) systems to operators, has scored a number of significant contract wins this year. (See Apertio Wins at Vodafone, T-Mobile Deploys Apertio, Apertio Wins at Tele2, and IMS Guide.)

Key partner Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT) has helped bring in some of that business. Wyatt says Apertio signed its biggest ever HLR deal with Motorola in February this year for a deployment at Pakistan mobile operator PMCL (Mobilink) and is supplying its HSS as part of Motorola's WiMax engagement at Wateen Telecom , also in Pakistan. (See Motorola Makes WiMax Breakthrough and Moto Upgrades PMCL.)

The Asia/Pacific region has been particularly strong, adds Wyatt, with another six deals set to close soon in the region.

That growth means Apertio is on course to double its revenues this year, from the £8.5 million (US$16 million) generated in 2005 to about £16.5 million ($31.2 million) this year. Wyatt adds that the company is due to hit profitability next year.

The company has also grown its headcount significantly. It now has about 210 employees, up from about 40 at the beginning of 2005. New faces include former Nortel Networks Ltd. chief software architect Adam Bryant, who is now Apertio's CTO for Asia/Pacific, and Jonathan Harvey, the former mobile networks CTO at Siemens Communications Group , who joined as CTO for the EMEA region.

Wyatt says he has explored the possibilities of listing in New York as well as London, but found, like other fast-growing niche players, that listing on London's Alternative Investment Market (AIM) is about 10 times cheaper than joining Nasdaq , where the annual costs of just being on the exchange are about $5 million.

AIM has attracted a number of telecom firms in the past few years. (See Sandvine Leaps on London Listing, Citel Raises $15M, Sets for IPO, Formula Completes IPO , We're in the Money, and Session Controller IPO Scores Success.)

Apertio, currently one of Light Reading's Top Ten Private Companies, has raised $50 million to date, with its latest round in February this year, when the company first announced it was contemplating an IPO. (See IMS Firm Raises $30M.)

But clearly Apertio doesn't have the market to itself, and Wyatt admits his company has strong competition, most notably from mobile giants Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) and Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK), while Lucent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: LU), he says, "has a well developed distributed HLR. Lucent poses the greatest threat to us."

— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading

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