Icon says it will leave Iseq to move its full listing to Nasdaq index in New York
CLINICAL TRIALS specialist Icon is to leave the Irish Stock Exchange.
Dublin-based Icon yesterday reported that its pre-tax profits topped $20 million (€15 million) in the three months to September 30th. The company also said it was dropping its listing on the Irish Stock Exchange and intended to go ahead with a full listing of its shares on New York’s Nasdaq.
Icon said it was its view “that this change will provide benefits to shareholders, including removing some barriers to ownerships and also the potential for further index inclusion for the stock”.
As a result, it said that the Irish Stock Exchange listing would no longer be necessary and, accordingly, it intended to withdraw from the market. The proposal is subject to shareholder approval.
Icon will announce details shortly of a general meeting to vote on the resolutions needed to go ahead with the change.
The news comes a month after pharmaceutical distributor and healthcare services specialist United Drug cancelled its shares on the market, while retaining a premium listing in London.
Earlier this year, building materials group CRH, which accounts for about a quarter of the Iseq index, moved its primary listing to London.
Icon provides clinical testing services to pharmaceutical companies that are in the process of developing new drugs and treatments. It employs more than 8,000 people around the world.
The company said yesterday profits for the first nine months of 2012 were up 50 per cent, at $48.7 million from $32.9 million, in the same period last year. Revenues rose 14 per cent, to $1.1 billion.
Icon is already listed on the Nasdaq and 97 per cent of its stock is traded there. To date this year, trades in its shares in Dublin have amounted to €30 million, less than 0.1 per cent of total turnover on the market. Icon had a market capitalisation of €1.1 billion and accounted for 2.3 per cent of the index at yesterday’s closing quote of €18.505.
The Irish Stock Exchange has said the company announced in April that it was reviewing its listing arrangements.
Writing in the Irish Independent yesterday, Irish Stock Exchange chief executive Deirdre Somers said the market’s financial performance continued to be strong and was benefiting from the investment it made in diversifying its business.