The stags are out in force today as new investors in online classifieds business Seek.com took
quick profits dumping the stock when it finally started trading at 11am
this morning following yesterday’s embarrassing 24 hour delay due to
“technical glitches”.

The stock opened at $2.15 – above the indicative match price of $2.09
from yesterday – and traded in a range between $2.13 and $2.32 before
settling at 2.31 at midday. This means new investors who
paid $2.10 a share have been enjoying
quick but marginal profits of up to 10 per cent – and there have been plenty of them with
almost 20 million Seek shares traded in the first hour.

When you consider that only 77 million new shares were issued as part
of the float, many of the new investors are clearly taking a quick
profit and some of those old investors not locked into escrow
agreements have also been cashing in from a company that was only founded in 1997 and is now capitalised at $633 million.

There are very few new companies in the ASX 200 which is dominated by
fuddy duddy old school outfits that have been around for decades. Seek
will join a select group including the likes of Virgin Blue,
Transurban, and Resmed – businesses that were founded less than 20
years ago

The Seek founders, Melbourne’s Bassat brothers along with their mate Matt
Rockman and his dad, former Melbourne Lord Mayor Irvin Rockman, shared
in more than $100 million from the float and now retain additional
shares worth about $120 million. That makes one very happy dad and
three new young, rich 30-somethings.

In what must be something of a record for a new listing, Seek has
released no less than 18 announcements to the ASX this morning which
you can view here.

This included everything from the top 20 shareholders list, the annual
report, finance report, constitution, statement from directors,
dividend reinvestment plan and no less than 5 different executive and
staff share plans.

The top 20 list shows Kerry Packer’s PBL at the top with 25.02 per cent
or 69.96 million shares worth $161 million. Given that PBL paid an
average 58c a share or $42.3 million – the paper profit after 18 months
is a very handy $118 million, making it one of the 10 best investments
the Packers have ever made.

Apart from the 14.5 million shares held by Yahoo! and the 2.95 million
held by prominent venture capitalist Roger Allen, the top 20 list is
the usual goggledygook of nominee companies which are impossible to
decipher. Whatever happened to that talk about requiring companies to
publish a top 20 list of beneficial owners?