Webjet’s Roger Sharp plans IPO for mash-up of rescued online media casualties

Webjet’s Roger Sharp plans IPO for mash-up of rescued online media casualties

Published 01 October 2013 11:44, Updated 01 October 2013 11:55

Jake Mitchell

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Roger Sharp says he’s plucked a range of businesses from the ashes of the GFC, Photo: Peter Braig

A mash-up of distressed companies rescued by Webjet board member Roger Sharp in the wake of the financial crisis is seeking to list early next year as a growth stock with revenue of about $50 million a year. Asia Pacific Digital, which has 700 staff in Australia, another 130 across Asia, and reported revenue of $90 million in fiscal year 2013, has acquired ­several struggling online media businesses since 2008. Mr Sharp refinanced them and installed new management. “We bought a range of business from the wreckage of the GFC,” said Mr Sharp, who is the AP Digital executive chairman and major shareholder. “They were Australian companies that had typically been owned by public companies that got in trouble, as many did.” AP Digital comprises digital advertising agency Next Digital, customer acquisition group DGM and customer relationship management firm Jericho Digital Communications, among ­others. The parent company is a fund manager that hopes to list an entity holding only digital businesses. The IPO market is heating up with an estimated $13 billion in market capitalisation poised to hit the boards of the Australian Securities Exchange over the next 12 months.

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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