Big firms flock to be listed in London's stock exchanges
A raft of companies have announced plans to list in London over the past few days and weeks.
London has been a global financial centre for centuries, but the past few weeks have seen its status cemented as a wave of companies have announced that they plan to pursue initial public offerings (IPO) on London’s stock exchanges.
As insurance and holiday provider Saga Plc undergoes its second day of trading after a £550 million IPOon 22 May, Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou has confirmed that he is planning to list easyHotel in London.
The chain is hoping to raise £60 million on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM), in what would be the first IPO for the group since airline easyJet debuted in 2000.
Yet easyHotel is far from the only company to be considering a London listing. This week, both property website Zoopla and high street discount store B&M Retail said they were planning large flotations.
Reuters reports that B&M’s listing could value the company at a minimum £2.5 billion, while Zoopla has already been valued at £1.2 billion. On the same day, Hungarian budget airline Wizz Air declared its plans to float on the London Stock Exchange, as did River and Mercantile, a UK-based asset advisory firm.
Add into this the fact that 19 May saw retailer Game say it was planning to relist and US university spin-out specialists Allied Minds announce their plans to float, and it has been a very busy week for London’s markets. But it comes towards the end of a hectic half-year for London’s exchanges, which have seen a flurry of IPOs from companies in a huge variety of sectors.
Although there have been casualties, with Fat Face just one of the companies that has backed out of plans to float, the past few months have been packed with firms seeking to take advantage of one of the world’s best known financial and business centres.
However, it may be that the excitement around so many listings is causing fatigue. Appetite for IPOs is likely to ease towards the back end of the year, but this will do nothing to dampen the appeal of London’s markets.
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