Terrific Thursday for London IPO market as Wise, Victorian Plumbing, Seraphine, Poolbeg and Voyager Life confirm plans to float

Fintech firm Wise, bathroom retailer Victorian Plumbing; high-end maternity store Seraphine, favored by the Duchess of Cambridge; Dublin-based drugmaker Poolbeg and cannabidiol product supplier Voyager Life have all unveiled plans to float today.

Wise, a money transfer company, said this morning it will join the London Stock Exchange in what could be Britain’s biggest listing yet this year.

The announcement of its intent to go public followed similar announcements by four other companies seeking to cash in on an IPO.

IPOs have soared in recent months despite the global pandemic, with companies eager to win some of the billions that investors have been hoarding during the Covid crisis.

According to a recent report by investment analysts from Liberum, bank deposits for retail investors totaled £214 billion at the end of April, with a further £506 billion in savings across the eurozone.

Biggest mention of the year

Wise would be the first fintech company to list directly on the London Stock Exchange, where the price is determined on opening day, rather than through a traditional bookbuilding exercise of institutional investors through an investment bank.

CMC Markets UK analyst Michael Hewson suggests it could be the biggest IPO of the year, valued at between £5bn and £10bn, pushing Deliveroo’s price tag of £7.6bn in March into it doesn’t fall.

He added: “During the company’s most recent fundraising round last summer, $319 million worth of shares changed hands in a deal that brought the valuation to around £3.6 billion at current exchange rates.”

Bosses said they expect details to be finalized by July 5, with the company aiming for a free float of at least 25 percent.

Co-founder and chief executive Kristo Kaarmann said: “Wise is used to challenging conventions, and this entry is no exception.

“A direct listing allows us to broaden Wise ownership in a cheaper and more transparent way, in line with our mission.”

Tech companies

London is trying to attract more tech companies to enter its lead market, with new listing rules allowing founders to retain more control over their business while still benefiting from a profitable listing.

Deliveroo founder Will Shu said he chose London to include on the list because it would allow him to sell a significant stake in the company, while retaining more shareholder voting rights on the shares for three years. that he still has.

Victorian Plumbing also revealed plans to enter the junior AIM market worth around £850 million later this month. The listing is expected to bring in £285.9 million for founder and CEO Mark Radcliffe.

He said: “The overwhelmingly positive response to our IPO has been humbling and it’s amazing to see the support and excitement surrounding our strategic plans.”

Some analysts have suggested that too many IPOs are currently entering the market, with some difficulty post-listing.

Big names joining the London Stock Exchange this year include Moonpig, Dr Martens, Virgin Wines, Trustpilot and cybersecurity giant Darktrace.

The majority performed strongly, although Deliveroo has become famous with over 30% of the opening price. Today, the shares remain 34% lower than the launch of 390 pence per share.

Made.com had its own stock market debut on Wednesday, with shares falling 7% on points from its opening price of 200p-per-share. On Thursday, the shares were at 199p.

In comparison, Moonpig stock started trading at 350p-a-pop in February and is standing at 463p today.

Darktrace is listed at 250p-a-share and is now at 421.75p as of Thursday afternoon.

David Mak, research analyst at Liberum, said: “Investing in an IPO just before or during a period of turmoil indicates poor stock price performance over the long term, while investing in an IPO shortly after such an period (such as this and next year) makes for an attractive whole.

“We find that IPOs perform best in the first two years after a bear market (downturn), and that UK IPOs show superior long-term performance than European and US IPOs – matching or exceeding overall market returns.”



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