Autonomy likely to be ousted from FTSE 100

High-tech firms continue to drop out of blue-chip index

Autonomy, the software company that created the UK's first software billionaire when it floated last November, is likely to be delisted from the FTSE 100 index of blue-chip shares when the index is revised on Wednesday.

The company, whose software is used to parse large amounts of corporate data, was valued at £4.4bn on flotation, with shares trading at £42, but by Monday they were trading in the range of £12. Like Freeserve, another high-flying Internet startup that was later delisted, Autonomy has been hit by concerns over the high-tech sector.

Autonomy founder Mike Lynch became the nation's first software billionaire upon the company's flotation.

Sema, the Anglo-French IT services company, is expected to join the index at 82, with a valuation of £3.36bn, but is being acquired by Schlumberger. The new list decided upon this week will go into effect 19 March.

Companies listed on the FTSE 100 automatically get greater interest from many investors, particularly institutional investors and index-tracking funds.

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