British payday lender Wonga is looking across the pond at a possible £1 billion floatation on a US stock exchange, according to the Telegraph.
The controversial company's co-founder Errol Damelin has begun a "beauty parade" to choose two banks to lead a potential float on the New York Stock Exchange or Nasdaq early next year, says the paper.
Barclays Capital, Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan Cazeno are among those in the running for a float the Telegraph speculates could value Wonga at up to £1.46 billion based on the 20 times historical sales formula attached to LinkedIn's IPO last year.
Founded in 2007, Wonga posted a pre-tax profit of £16.6 million on sales of £73.8 million for the year ended December 2010 and in February 2011 completed a £73 million funding round led by US venture capitalist Oak Investment Partners.
However, the company has faced fierce criticism, accused of targeting vulnerable people and charging exorbitant interest. Shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna recently hit out at plans to begin small business lending while the Office of Fair Trading has slammed its debt collection practices.
Wonga mulls US flotation with £1.46bn value - Telegraph