LONDON -- Fabless chip company Wolfson Microelectronics plc became the London Stock Exchange's largest technology-based initial public offering (IPO) for three years Thursday (October 16, 2003) as shares were bought eagerly in early trading, pushing the company's debut share price up by a quarter, according to a Reuters report.
At midday Wolfson shares were trading at 260 pence, up 24 percent from their issue price of 210 pence, the report said.
"Just about everyone we spoke to was interested on some level and we've got a very good shareholder base as a result," Reuters quoted David Milne, Wolfson's chief executive officer, as saying.
Wolfson has been a long time coming to market having been spun off from Edinburgh University almost 20 years ago. But over the years it developed a reputation for excellence in mixed-signal design before branching out into dedicated chip products.
It appears that the IPO was not dented by the news of a lawsuit and International Trade Commission (ITC) complaint filed by Cirrus Logic Inc. against Wolfson alleging patent infringement (see October 14 story).
Wolfson has said the claim is without merit and that the company would defend itself against the allegations.
Of the IPO Milne, said in a statement: "We are delighted at the tremendous response from institutions in the UK, Continental Europe and the US. This is an emphatic endorsement of our track record and our confidence in Wolfson's prospects going forward. Our flotation enables us to build upon Wolfson's success to date and to develop the company as a major semiconductor supplier."
The offer comprised 11.9 million new shares and the sale of 21 million shares by existing shareholders for a total of 69.1 million pounds, representing 32.4 percent of shares in issue, Reuters said.