£50m spin-off set to float

March 12, 2004

Southampton University is to float a major spin-off company this week.

The value of Offshore Hydrocarbon Mapping Limited has been estimated at just under £50 million.

A spokesperson for Southampton said: "The government has put about £350 million into enterprise funding. This flotation on London's Alternative Investment Market values the company at just under 15 per cent of that.

This is a large company."

Offshore Hydrocarbon Mapping supplies electromagnetic sensing services designed to detect offshore gas or oil. It was set up largely with funding from financier IP2IPO, which also part funded the new chemistry building at Oxford University that opened last month.

The company also had some funding from Sulis, a Department of Trade and Industry/Office of Science and Technology university challenge fund shared with Bath and Bristol universities.

Southampton's stake in the company is worth about £10 million, and Pounds 2.7 million will be ploughed back into the university.

The company was the brainchild of three academics: Martin Sinha, Lucy MacGregor and Jenny Rust. They were supported by the university's Centre for Enterprise and Innovation.

The company has 23 members of staff. It was to be floated on Thursday.

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