Dotcom spin-off sells rest of shares

November 16, 2001

Shares in an Australian-based domain-name company that were once worth A$122 million (£44 million) have been sold by the University of Melbourne for A$4.89 million.

The university established Melbourne IT in the mid-1990s and floated it on the Australian Stock Exchange two years ago. With exclusive rights to issue the global top-level domains of .com, .net and .org, and the regional .com.au, Melbourne IT became the most successful university company floated on the stock exchange.

The university offered 85 per cent of its holdings to investors for A$80 million and the shares eventually rocketed to A$17 each. After the dotcom crash, the share price collapsed and the shares are now selling for about 80 cents.

The university, through its commercial arm Melbourne University Private, sold its remaining 15 per cent stake this month.

MUP chief executive David Lloyd said the last of the shares had been sold because it was a "strategic anomaly" to keep them.

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