Meltwater IPO makes millions for founder and executive team

Global news monitoring business Meltwater has listed on the Euronext Growth Oslo, Norway. The IPO on 2 December raised gross proceeds amounting to NOK 3,480 million (approximately A$536 million).

The initial sale shares in the company were sold by chairman and founder Jørn Lyseggen, Big Data Holding as well as certain employees of the company on a pro rata basis. An additional seven million sale shares were sold exclusively by Lyseggen. The proceeds from the sale of the additional shares will be used by Lyseggen to repay in full a loan with a current balance of around US$35 million (A$47 million).

Lyseggen and other senior staff cashed in around A$70 million worth of shares in the transaction, while CEO, John Box, said of the listing: “We are overwhelmed with the response from investors and humbled by the trust they have placed in our company. With the strengths provided by the proceeds from the offering, our aim is to continue the company’s revenue growth, organically as well as through M&A, and to deliver shareholder value to our trusted investor base. We are looking forward to this next part of our journey together.”

Meltwater and Isentia are both currently in legal action with the Copyright Agency over licensing. The case was supposed to go to the Copyright Tribunal on 12 October in relation to the copyright fees payable by the three major media monitoring organisations (Isentia, Meltwater and Streem) for the use of news content. However the hearing was adjourned until a future date because Streem and the Copyright Agency settled their case by reaching a new licensing agreement. Meltwater and Isentia have now requested time to consider their respective cases in light of that agreement.

According to Meltwater’s listing documents, the company generated A$467 million in revenue last financial year (FY19) from its global media monitoring services. The company boasts it has a 1500-strong Australian client roster including leading accounts such as Optus, the ABC, Cochlear, Ford and the NSW Government. The NSW Government account is up for renewal on 18 June 2021. The three year deal was valued at A$9 million.

Meltwater and the Copyright Agency were contacted for comment.


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