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InterX shares rocket, buys PharmWeb

Heading for FTSE 250 territory

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This defies rational explanation -- InterX's shares have leapt £3 this morning to £39.25, following a £50 million new share issue and a £80 million share sale by the directors. It is now worth £1.4 billion. A dilutive placing and big directors sale (at £34 per share) should have seen InterX's share price fall. But investors clearly liked the news-packed summary and interim results accompanying the share issue. Last week, InterX announced its plans to extend its IT Network product information engine to other industry sectors. The Register guessed the pharmaceuticals industry: we guessed right. InterX is to buy Pharmweb, the owner of pharmweb.net, a "pharmaceutical an health-related portal" set up by Manchester University in 1994, for £20 million in cash, loan-notes and shares. Pharmweb's current owners get £10 million of this for their equity, and the business gets £10 million for working capital. The deal is at non-binding heads of agreement stage and is subject to due diligence. Meanwhile, InterX subsidiary IT Network is rolling out its service overseas, kicking off with Ireland. The company is to build a co-branded version at www.techcentral.ie, the online version of Computerscope, Ireland's biggest computer magazine. For the 27 weeks to Feb 5, 2000, IT Network generated £500,000 in revenue and a further £300,000 in deferred sales. Since launching last summer, the company has billed £1.27 million. It says it is developing new revenue streams "for the unique market intelligence automatically generated by the IT Network's product information engine". Cromwell Media, InterX’s wannabe Broadvision-killer software subsidiary, has won two "significant contracts" for Bladerunner – with Royal Sun Alliance and Cambridge University Press. Bladerunner is inching towards full-productisation and delivers an unspecified revenues stream through licensing revenues with IT Network and Silicon.com. So now Cromwell has four named customers and, with Pharmweb, it will have five. The company, which is to be renamed InterX Technology, is valued at £694 million on the basis that the two thirds not already owned by InterX, was bought for 11,946,052 new Ordinary Shares, and that the closing price on 9 March 2000 was 3,625p. InterX's group pre-tax profits for the half year to Feb 5 were £451,000 (1999: 3.01 million). The company's big money spinner is Ideal Hardware, the IT distie arm which has a for sale sign around its neck, In the meantime, the majority of its profits are pumped into funding the group's lossmaking Internet business. The group now has £50 million through its share placing. And it should have another £50 million or so, once the sale of Ideal Hardware is completed. ® Related Stories IT Network eyes up US market InterX distie arm still for sale InterX directors cash in £75 million of shares

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