Deregulation to increase opportunities for Hansen

Hansen Technologies, a Melbourne developer of billing software for the telecommunications and utilities markets, is listing 30 per cent of its business on the ASX in early June.

Its initial public offering recently closed oversubscribed, having raised $24 million at an issue price of $1 per share. The IPO values the company at $80 million.

Hansen expects the deregulation of the domestic and global telecommunications and utilities markets to increase demand for billing software.

"Deregulation has opened the markets up to multiple telecommunication and utilities suppliers. In the UK alone, the number of utilities companies has grown from only a couple to 28 today," said Hansen's managing director, Andrew Hansen.

The company will use the bulk of the funds raised through its IPO to acquire part of chairman Kenneth Hansen's share of the company, and will leave the remaining $3 million in its bank account to facilitate future access to public capital markets, according to Andrew Hansen.

The company's plans for the near future include the development of its hub billing system modules, and the acquisition of billing software suppliers in the US and UK, but not necessarily with the funds raised through the IPO.

The recent volatility in technology stock prices has not deterred Hansen Technologies from going ahead with its listing plans. "The question is, following the stock market correction, are current technology share prices low or are they realistic?" asked Hansen. Besides listing in the post-correction days, it is also offering investors the opportunity to enter "a sector which is at present demonstrating clear long-term growth potential".

The company is expecting revenue growth of 65 per cent to reach $51.3 million in 2000 and $55.4 million in 2001.

Founded in 1971, Hansen Technologies employs over 340 staff in Australia, New Zealand, the UK and US. Its key clients include Telstra, MCI Worldcom (US) and British Telecom.

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