15 May 2000

UK-based internet conglomerate ci4net.com is teeing-up for a planned Nasdaq flotation with the appointment to its advisory board of former Channel 4 chief executive Michael Grade. Mr Grade, currently chairman both of Pinewood Studios and the Octopus Publishing Group, will join eight new additions to the 18-strong global advisory board of the expanding network of internet companies.

New ci4net chief executive Dale Morrison, former chief executive of Campbell Soup Company, who joined the group earlier this month, said ci4net.com had 22 investments in December and planned in the coming months to increase its holdings to fifty, stretching from the US to Europe and Australia: "We're expanding the portfolio as fast as we can. We're working to fill the geographic gaps and we have business platform opportunities."

Ci4net owns stakes in 39 internet companies - all but four majority holdings. The range covers the business-to-business, business-to-consumer, infrastructure and incubator sectors. Ci4net, which attracted $50 million from private investors last year, is raising another $50 million in a second round of private financing ahead of the float. It is currently valued at around $1.4 billion (£930 million) on the over-the-counter market.

News source: The Times (London)