LONDON—Upstream Asia, a Hong Kong based corporate and marketing communications firm with offices throughout the Asia-Pacific region, is to be listed on the London AIM via a reverse takeover of listed cash shell Raven Capita.
Upstream has grown to include offices in Beijing, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore and Taipei, together with franchises in Tokyo and Sydney and partners with several U.S. and European public relations firms through its membership in the IPREX and Eurocom networks of independent public relations firms. Clients include ebay, EDS, Microsoft, and O2.
The listing is expected to be approved by an extraordinary general meeting of Raven shareholders on October 13, 2006. Upon listing, Raven will change its name to Upstream Marketing & Communications. Including a placing of £500,000 (approximately $900,000) worth of shares at 20p per share, the enlarged group will have a market capitalization of approximately £26.7 million (nearly $50 million).
“Our listing will help expand the offering we can make to clients and give us access to capital for accelerated growth,” says David Ketchum, Upstream’s CEO. “We are well positioned to capture market share in China and to create a unique holding company focused on high growth markets and sectors, built through organic growth and by acquiring a series of complementary public relations, communications, digital marketing and advertising firms to integrate into the Upstream network.”
Ketchum says increased spending by Chinese consumers on branded goods and travel, the competition in market sectors opened to multinational companies by China’s accession to WTO, and the upcoming 2008 Olympics in Beijing are among the factors driving demand for his firm’s corporate, technology and consumer communications services.