Weekly financial wrap up: Rush on tech stocks continues unabated

The rush for technology stocks continues unabated as both companies and investors recognise the latent potential of IT as a money generating machineBig rush on Spike sees early closeSpike Networks has closed its IPO early amid a rush of online applications. Spike's BPay option for viewing the company's prospectus, filling out a share application and then fulfilling the payment over the Net has seen investors encourage the Web developer to bring forward the closing date from July 22 to today.

The decision comes as no surprise as John McGuigan, Spike's chairman, who indicated the option to bring forward the application closing date was "being explored" as early as Spike's IPO intention was confirmed.

A Spike spokesperson said there was an "overwhelming" response to the offering, a lot of which came from online applications. The announcement has sparked speculation that Spike will also bring its listing date forward to as early as Friday next week but the spokesperson refused to confirm or deny this was the case.

Elemental purchase for Macromedia

Web publishing company Macromedia has announced that it will acquire software developer Elemental Software (ES) to bolster its Web application development offerings. The deal will see Macromedia exchange nearly 625,000 shares for all of ES's outstanding equity pricing the acquisition at around $24 million. Macromedia is banking on ES's products, which include Drumbeat 2000 and eStore Builder, to enable Macromedia's developer customer base to create and maintain Web sites which can be linked to backend database information.

Protel hopes to power on

Windows-based electronic design automation (EDA) software developer Protel International is joining the race to list on the ASX. According to a spokesperson from underwriter Macquarie Bank, Protel is looking to generate capital for further technology development, raise its profile as an Australian company and to provide a return to its current shareholders.

Protel is looking to walk away with $46.5 million from 23.25 million shares at $2 each. Applications for shares close on July 23 with listing slated for August 5.

The listing follows Protel's recent acquisition of systems integrator Accolade Design Automation, a move welcomed by Accolade's CEO David Pellerin. "To take [Accolade's] tools to the next level both in terms of technology and in terms of market presence, it was important to find a strong marketing partner with a world view similar to our own."