Checkmate for London Stock Market as World Chess Relaunches IPO Plan | Economic news
The company that previously ran the World Chess Championship is relaunching its plans to list on the London Stock Exchange after a two-year hiatus.
Sky News has learned that World Chess, which is run by Ilya Merenzon, is targeting an announcement in a few weeks that would lead to a public sale of shares on the AIM junior market.
Sources in the city said Novum Securities had been appointed to work on the listing.
World Chess is majority owned by its management team, but also includes Kaspersky, the cybersecurity service provider, among its minority investors.
The company controls the online gaming platform for the World Chess Championship, which is due to take place in Dubai later this month, with current world champion Magnus Carlsen.
Executives are said to believe that the growing global popularity of the sport, with 600 million people now describing themselves as chess players, has opened up a series of lucrative business opportunities.
The resounding success of the Netflix series, The Queen’s Gambit, has also fueled international interest in chess.
In 2019, World Chess announced its ambition to launch an unusual “hybrid initial public offering” that would have included the issuance of digital tokens before a formal listing of its shares in London.
This did not happen, and more conventional flotation is now seen as the goal of World Chess.
A spokesperson for World Chess declined to comment on Friday.