Prime Carrier confirms AIM intentions

24 Jun 2005

PrimeCarrier has confirmed the company is on the acquisition trail and is considering a listing on London’s Alternative Investments Market (AIM) to carry potential transactions. In the past month the company acquired Galway-based Am-beo in an all-stock transaction for an undisclosed sum.

A Yankee Group report seen by has lauded the Am-beo transaction and reaffirmed the possibility of a future listing on AIM.

According to Yankee, the combination of Prime Carrier and Am-beo assets creates a larger competitor in the wholesale and retail telecoms market spaces, and based on the core technologies of both players, the newly combined organisation aims to become a wholesale trading and retail billing solution leader, supporting voice, convergent internet protocol, 3G and triple-play telecoms services.

Yankee said the merger will give Prime Carrier the financial stability and tier one reference power required by carriers seeking to make technology investment.

Prime Carrier CEO Geoff Butcher described the combination of both companies as the necessary up-scaling required to make Irish technology players relevant in the eyes of potential blue-chip buyers.

Yankee reaffirmed this by pointing out that strong names such as BT, Western Wireless and KPN give instant credibility from a sales and marketing perspective and the organisation should focus on leveraging key client wins.

The Yankee report also pointed out wholesale billing technologies more often than not come from disparate vendors than single providers and the combined Prime Carrier and Am-beo should take advantage of this position.

Butcher said the company is still considering an AIM listing but such a decision would ultimately be framed by the terms and conditions governing its next acquisition target.

He elaborated: “We have a shopping list of companies from which we would hope to make an acquisition or two and a listing on AIM would make strategic sense in order to carry some of those acquisition potentials. But, as I say, that is one option necessary to specific opportunities, other acquisition possibilities may not require us proceeding down the road to an AIM listing.”

Butcher said the company, which employs 50 people, is striving to put the building blocks in place that will ultimately turn Prime Carrier into a €50m a year company. “We want to build a fairly sizeable mid-size software business. The scope for building a company of €50m to €100m revenue should be possible in the space we are in. There are a number of people who feel that Irish software businesses historically are under-scale, what we are trying to do is create on medium to large size one. How we will do that is by pulling together a strong technology product base that allows strong organic growth and also by going after further acquisitions.”

While the company is busy laying the foundations for growth, Butcher added: “Our expectations are that next year we will get to more than €5m in revenues.”

By John Kennedy