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IT news service 'worth £800m'

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Congratulations to NMTV, parent company of Silicon.com --the British IT news service targeting corporates -- which has completed its latest round of financing. The £11 million slug, supplied by a consortium of British and European VC money, will come in handy for expansion both here and overseas. And now for the nonsense. The Sunday Times reckons NMTV will be worth £800 million, when the company IPOs "within nine months", making it "potentially the biggest [Net float] in Britain behind Freeserve". Talk about Inflating the Bubble Economy. How does the ST arrive at such a figure? NMTV is an altogether more substantial business than The Register but it has fewer readers (just like VNUNet and ZD UK). By all accounts, it's a well-run business -- and the blue-chip backers are proof of this. But £800 million? In nine months? Look at ZDNet, the world's biggest collection of IT sites, with 8.6 million unique visitors (in August). This makes it the world's 16th biggest Web property. Its market cap is $1.437 billion. Annual revenues for its latest year is $56.143 million, against $32.218 million for the year before. OK, so it's loss-making, but then we suspect NMTV is loss-making, too, on a lot less revenue. At least ZDNet has financial muscle, a name brand worldwide and global distribution. NMTV is backed by financial heavyweights, but it has a long way to go before it turns Silicon into a worldwide force. ®

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