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YouGov Heads for Flotation

March 1 2005

British online pollster YouGov is headed for a listing on Aim this summer, with a value of 15m suggested by its advisers. The money raised is intended for both organic growth and acquisitions.

Founders and joint chief executives Nadhim Zahawi and Stephan Shakespeare each own 37% of the company, and intend to keep a controlling stake following flotation.

YouGov is in its fifth year and uses a panel of c.75,000 to provide rapid-response polling. In the year to July 31 it made a pre-tax profit of 600,000 on sales of 1.9m. Media titles are its highest profile users but like many agencies providing political polls for the media, the majority of its income (70%) comes from corporate clients like Asda and British gas. In addition to market and opinion research it offers stakeholder consultation and YouGov Indices tracking services.

The company boasts a track record as 'the UK's most accurate pollster', having predicted results accurate to within 1% for polls from the UK and Australian elections to the Pop Idol contest.

Zahawi is a Tory councillor for Wandsworth, London and was Jeffrey Archer's campaign director before the 2000 London mayoral elections, while Shakespeare also worked for the controversial peer, as Press Secretary.

YouGov's web site is at www.yougov.com

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