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Qinetiq kicks off £1.3bn IPO

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Shares in Qinetiq began trading today as the UK tech firm kicked off its £1.3bn IPO. The shares were valued at 200p each - at the top end of 165p-205p range set for the float - but surged ahead in brisk early trading.

By mid morning shares were changing hands at 216p.

Qinetiq - the science and technology outfit formed from the British Government's defence research and development organisation - published details of its intention to float last month.

Boffins intend to use the cash raised from the IPO to help develop the business and snap up a few "appropriate acquisitions". Around £45m of the cash raised will be used to plug a hole in its pension scheme.

In the six months to September 2005 Qinetiq generated a turnover of £473m and an operating profit of £37.5m. ®

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