• US$10 million (approximately £6.6 million) conditionally raised from institutional and other investors and directors
• Company strongly positioned to participate in upcoming gTLD auctions
• Funds also to be used for launch and marketing of .london
• TLDH has largest portfolio of geographic gTLDs covering a combined population of over 50 million
• Company anticipates first gTLDs to be launched later this year
• Significant early revenues expected during the Sunrise Period of each newly launched gTLD
The Company was notified on 21 May 2013 that HSBC Global Custody Nominee (UK) Limited no longer holds share capital in TLDH and therefore has ceased to have a notifiable interest in the Company.
The Board of Top Level Domain Holdings Limited (AIM:TLDH.L), is pleased to announce that the Company has today conditionally placed 110,375,276 new ordinary shares (the “Ordinary Shares”) through N+1 Singer as broker to the Company at a placing price of 6p per Ordinary Share (the “Placing Price”) with institutional and other investors and certain directors to raise US$10 million before expenses (equivalent to approximately £6.6 million at current exchange rates) subject to admission (the “Placing”). The new Ordinary Shares being issued pursuant to the Placing will, on issue, rank pari passu with the existing Ordinary Shares in issue and application will be made for the new Ordinary Shares to be admitted to trading on AIM. Trading in the new Ordinary Shares on AIM is expected to commence on or around 10 June 2013.
The Company intends to use the Placing proceeds to provide additional working capital and in particular, to provide additional funds for the Company to resolve contention sets, including participation in private or ICANN-sponsored auctions of contested strings, where another applicant(s) has also applied for the same new generic top–level domain (“gTLD”) as TLDH. ICANN has indicated that its auctions, which will occur if applicants cannot resolve contentions on their own, will begin in November 2013.
As previously announced the Company has already arranged a conditional funding facility for one contestedgTLD string application of up to US$15 million (repayable solely through a gross revenue share) and is progressing discussions on similar non-recourse debt funding facilities for other contended gTLDapplications. As previously announced, the Company also expects to enter a joint venture with Uniregistry, the only competing applicant for .country. Of the 88 applications TLDH either wholly owns or is serving as a registry service provider, 22 are uncontested (16 wholly-owned by TLDH, six by clients); 11 are currently in contention with a single other applicant; 17 with two other applicants and 38 in contention with three or more.
Fred Krueger, Chairman of TLDH, commented:
Given the size of our portfolio of contended applications, today’s funding, together with our other resources, places us in a strong position to participate in auctions and to significantly enhance the value of our portfolio of uncontested gTLDs which we expect will produce early revenues in the Sunrise Period – the inaugural event in each launch.
The Company also intends to use the Placing proceeds to support the launch and marketing of .london, which the Company currently expects will be in Q1 2014. The Company is well underway in setting up core registry operations in Dublin, with additional operations being managed out of London.
TLDH has the largest portfolio of valuable non-contested geographic names with an aggregate population of over 50 million, comprising .london, .miami, .bayern, .nrw, and .budapest. The general penetration ofdomain names as a proportion of population for .nz, .uk and .de and other ccTLDs in developed countries, is between 10 to 20 per cent and the Directors believe that the Company’s geographic gTLDs have similar potential.
As previously announced, the Company still expects to see the first set of gTLD strings launch in the second half of this year, including some of the Company’s gTLDs as well as those of some of its clients, with initial Sunrise Period revenues being generated shortly thereafter. The new gTLDs are expected to launchbroadly in the priority order assigned by the random draw number allocated by ICANN. A likely timetable for the first new gTLDs is shown below:
• ICANN delegation process completed (comprising initial evaluation, contract execution, pre-delegation testing and delegation).
Q4 2013/Q1 2014
• Sunrise Period: Trademark holders register domain names corresponding to their trademarks before names are generally available to the public.
• Landrush Period: Names are available generally to the public during a special window.
• General availability: Names are available on a first-come, first-served basis for each newly launched gTLD.
Each new gTLD will have considerable flexibility in how to launch and so the timetable above is illustrative only based on past industry practice.