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Hemscott weighs up options

Trade sale or float could be on the cards

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Online finance information service Hemscott.net is in talks regarding a possible IPO. The company, which claims 20 million page impressions per month, is being advised on its options by merchant bank Rothschilds. "One of these options might be flotation or a trade sale," confirmed one Hemscott representative. The company has received £5 million from institutional shareholders, which it plans to spend on marketing, new staff and developing its financial records database. The leader in the finance information sector is Yahoo!Finance, while Hemscott rival Interactive Investor International (iii) recorded 23 million page impressions for December 1999. In terms of users, Hemscott has 500,000 and iii 738,000. As well as the database, which contains five-year financial records of UK companies, Hemscott charges online stockbrokers to put "broker buttons" on its site. It also makes cash from subscription charges for certain parts of its site and from advertisements. ® Related Stories 'Defamed' bulletin board firm primes lawyers UK shares bulletin board faces legal bullet

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