Nigeria-based Nollywood streaming company Iroko TV plans to go public by listing on the London Stock Exchange Alternative Investment Market (AIM) in the next 12 months to raise between US$20m and US$30m.
According to the company, the move will put Iroko TV on the select list of African companies that have listed outside their primary market. It would also help Iroko get diaspora subscribers as well as give the company a valuation of up to US$100m.
The AIM listing will also draw attention to Iroko TV products and services, increase its brand recognition and improve its business overall, the company said. The move comes after Iroko dropped a plan to float on AIM back in 2019 and instead sold its production studio, ROK, to Canal+ for an undisclosed sum.
Iroko TV’s CEO, Jason Njoku, told TechCrunch: “I believe the time is right to take the company public and shore up its finances. US$10m to US$15m would be for corporate development, the rest will be secondaries for shareholders. As a private company, Iroko’s valuation was never priced above US$70m.
“We exited ROK for close to the total amount of capital we raised for Iroko; we have returned US$11m to early investors and shareholders already. We still have material capital left from the ROK-Canal+ acquisition coming in every six months until 2023.”
The company increased its annual subscription from US$25 to US$60 for its diaspora subscribers in 2020 and saw no negative impact on the number of international subscribers. Customers gained from the diaspora suggests demand for African content is high among West Africans abroad, which has led the company to direct its focus towards gaining more customers internationally.
“This is more profitable for the company because the revenue is less impacted by the instability and constant devaluation suffered by the Naira. An international subscriber base is much more sustainable,” Njoku added.