Kim Dotcom's Mega to list on NZ stock market

Kim Dotcom interviewed by reporters Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Kim Dotcom is accused of copyright infringement on a "massive scale" by US authorities

Internet tycoon Kim Dotcom, whose site MegaUpload was shut down by US authorities in 2012, has announced plans to list his new file-sharing firm on the New Zealand stock market.

In January 2013, a year after the closure of MegaUpload, he set up Mega, which also allows users to host and share large files on the internet.

He is currently fighting extradition to the US over charges of copyright infringement on a "massive scale".

An extradition hearing is set for July.

'Rapid growth'

Mega will reach the market by using what is known as a "backdoor listing".

Rather than floating in its own right, Mega will take over TRS Investments - which is already listed - and change the company's name and operations.

TRS will issue Mega with 700 million shares at 30 cents each, totalling NZ$210m ($180m; £109m). Mega's shareholders will own 99% of the firm.

Mega's chief executive Stephen Hall said he intended Mega to be a listed company by the end of May.

"The rapid global growth of Mega has generated significant interest from potential investors," he said.

"Listing on the New Zealand Stock Exchange will allow investors to participate in the ongoing growth of Mega," he said.

'Basic errors'

Mr Dotcom was arrested at his mansion near Auckland, New Zealand, in January 2012. As well as MegaUpload being shut down, Mr Dotcom's assets were frozen.

But later scrutiny of the raid led to New Zealand Prime Minister John Key apologising to Mr Dotcom for what were described as "basic errors" by intelligence services in collecting information on behalf of the US.

Opposition parties called for further independent investigations.

Following the Mega stock market announcement, Mr Dotcom wrote on Twitter: "Indicted. Raided. On Bail.

"All assets frozen without trial. But we don't cry ourselves to sleep. We built #Mega from 0 into a $210m company."

US authorities accuse him of earning more than $175m by facilitating the distribution of pirated copies of movies, TV shows and other content.

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