Nigeria’s IROKO to go Public on London Stock Exchange in 2022
IROKO, a Nigerian-based movie streaming company, plans to go public in the next 12 months on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) Alternative Investment Market (AIM). This was disclosed by the founder and CEO Jason Njoku in a session with Africa Report.
Launched in 2011, IROKO has scaled to become the world’s largest online collection of Nollywood film content.
The report states the media company will raise between $20 million and $30 million valuing the company at $80 million to $100 million.
Last year, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, IROKO experienced a 70% drop in subscription number which led to 28% of the company’s staff going on unpaid leave in May. IROKO eventually had to let go of 150 people and shift its focus to customers outside the continent. Njoku linked this to the devaluation of the naira, regulatory bottleneck and a lean outbound marketing team.
Njoku suggested in October 2019 that the business was going public either on the London Stock Exchange or on a local exchange. However, because of how tumultuous it was for the company, the CEO stayed quiet about the whole process the following year.
IROKO currently makes 80% per cent from the international market and listing on a foreign exchange will help support its efforts. According to Njoku, the Nigerian Stock Exchange or other local exchanges have not been known to list early-stage tech companies, thus the London Stock Exchange would be a better option.
IROKO is now targeting an approximately $100 million market cap, which for the primary market is small. This is why the media company has agreed to be listed on the LSE Alternative Investment Market (AIM). This sub-market of the LSE, was created specifically for small-cap businesses. There are also plans for IROKO to advance to the main market in the future as its value increases, something that UK sports betting firm, GVC and online fashion retailer ASOS have done in the past.
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