Ex Libris today announces its intention to list on AIM.
Ex Libris is a global provider of software solutions to the world's leading libraries. Clients include four of the world's five largest libraries, one of which is the British Library, the world's second largest.
Over the past decade, academic and research libraries have become increasingly sophisticated and complex requiring specialist software to manage their functionality.
Since the birth of the Internet, the range of materials handled by libraries has proliferated beyond print media to now include web-based and electronically stored resources, to which users require access either directly or remotely. Ex Libris' software provides this capability.
Ex Libris has placed products in more countries around the world than any of its four major competitors in the library automation market. Ex Libris serves a diverse installed base of 1,650 customers in 57 countries, including the British Library, MIT, University College London, the London Business School, the University of Bristol, the Russian State Library, AstraZeneca, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the National Library of China.
Over the financial years ended 31 December 2002, 2003 and 2004, Ex Libris' net profits increased by more than 80 per cent. to just over US$2.5 million, representing compound annual earnings growth of 35%. In the same period, sales have increased by over 30 per cent. to US$29.7 million. As of 31 December 2004, the Ex Libris group had a total pipeline of contracted sales in excess of US$32 million.
Ex Libris has long-term customer relationships and has high client retention. Since 1995 customer retention has been in excess of 90%.
Ex Libris' strength and focus is on the automation of large and complex academic and national libraries, as well as the corporate libraries of a number of research-dependent blue chip companies.
The library automation market serviced by companies that participate in the North American market is reported to be worth approximately US$525 million (Library Journal, Gradual Evolution – Automated System Marketplace 2005, 1 April 2005). The directors believe the wider market value exceeds this figure. Whilst the US and UK markets are relatively mature and well served, the directors believe there is growing demand originating from other markets, such as Asia. The overall market for library automation systems is characterised by a small number of players, most of which are US-based.
Over the next few years the directors expect that demand for the company's specialist software solutions, especially for tools to access, manage, deliver and preserve digital content, will provide opportunities for new product development.
Ex Libris was founded in 1983 by a team of librarians, system analysts and programmers employed by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel. It then marketed its products through a separate sales and marketing organisation. These two entities were merged into a single company in 1996. Ex Libris' corporate headquarters and research and development facilities are in Jerusalem, with executive management also based in the UK and the USA.
Ex Libris' revenues are derived from one-off software product sales and ongoing recurring sales. Recurring revenues, which in the first six months of 2005 accounted for approximately 50% of sales (based on unaudited figures), comes from software maintenance and content update services. As of 31 December 2004, Ex Libris had a total pipeline of contracted sales in excess of US$ 32 million.
Over the financial years ended 31 December 2002, 2003 and 2004, Ex Libris' net profit increased by more than 80 per cent. to just over US$2.5 million, representing compound annual earnings growth of 35%. In the same period, sales have increased by over 30 per cent. to US$29.7 million.
Key Reasons for the Flotation
Ex Libris is seeking to raise by way of an institutional placing approximately US$15 million of new money.
The company is principally seeking an AIM listing to raise monies to invest in the research and development of new products, to expand its global marketing efforts and to make selective acquisitions as and when suitable opportunities arise.
Ex Libris also believes that a listing on AIM will help raise the company's profile, enhance its ability to gain significant new customers and assist in retaining and incentivising key employees. The company's Nominated Adviser and Broker is Panmure Gordon (Broking) Limited.
Commenting, Matti Shem Tov, CEO of Ex Libris, said:
"We are delighted to be seeking a listing on AIM. It will represent a major step change in our business. Besides the additional funds we plan to raise, which will greatly help us grow Ex Libris, the listing will also help boost the profile of the company.
Ex Libris has an extremely strong and established market position from which to grow and take advantage of the increasing need for software tools to access, manage, deliver and preserve print and digital content within libraries worldwide."