Loss-making Easyscreen in fundraising bid as Man Financial signs agreement

Loss-making Easyscreen in fundraising bid as Man Financial signs agreement

Easyscreen, the UK-based provider of technology for direct access futures and options trading, is looking to raise £3.5 million in a share placing as it reports widening first quarter losses.

The vendor reported turnover up 16% to £539,000 for the quarter ending June 2004 compared to the equivalent period last year, as revenues from the ASP-based EasyXchange service began to feed through. Operating losses edged higher to £795,000 from £723,000 in Q1 2004. Costs increased by seven per cent due to increased spending on UK and US datacentres and additional staffing costs in Chicago.

Critically, EasyScreen reported the signing of a heads of agreement with futures and options broker Man Financial for the supply of EasyRouter installations in the UK and in the US, to form a global trading solution.

Philip Docker, EasyScreen chairman, says the deal proves that the company can continue to meet the high level requirements of top-tier financial institutions. Under the terms of the agreement, EasyScreen expects to receive annual licence fees, support fees, monthly screen fees and throughput-based fees.

News of the deal should help the company's bid to raise further funding through a placing of 19.5 million ordinary shares at a price of 18p per share. The placing consists of two tranches which in aggregate will raise approximately £3m net of expenses.

The group has additionally secured a short term bank overdraft which will cover cash requirements until the first tranche of the placing monies are received in October 2004.

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