IPO activity rapidly materialised after the Christmas break, almost taking the markets by surprise as companies moved quickly to take advantage of the uptick in the FTSE index and low volatility.
How did the European IPO markets perform in the first quarter?
Well overall the first quarter there’s been over 3 billion of money raised across Europe, that’s up from 2.3 billion in the same quarter last year.
And the largest IPO was LEG Imoblian in Germany which raised over €1 billion, and in London we’ve seen the IPO’s of Country Wide, Crest Nicholson and esure.
Do you expect to see further private equity backed companies coming to market?
I think it’s really encouraging that actually we’ve see the first private equity IPO’s for some time, in fact since 2010 when we saw the IPO of AZ Electronic Materials. I think we also will see a number of private equity IPO’s in the second quarter of the year, noticeably Helum & Titum which is I think being admitted to trading in the first part of April and a number of other transactions including Moleskin in Italy. So I think that’s actually a very strong sign given that actually there’s been a spector hanging over private equity transactions, certainly in the UK market.
How have the top IPOs performed in the after during the quarter?
In terms of how the IPO’s are fed, firstly I think it’s important to say that the majority of the transactions have priced well and within with published price range and many of those towards the top end of that range which I think gives a good indicator of investor sentiment. In terms of aftermarket performance, that’s been equally as encouraging and indeed the IPO’s of Crest Nicholson and Country Wide are up 34% and 11% respectively on their offer prices by the end of the quarter, again a very positive sign in terms of the IPO performance.
What is the outlook for the rest of the year?
Well I think on the back of a really encouraging first quarter. First time we’ve said that for some time. I think actually the weather is somewhat fairer for IPO activity as 2013 unfolds. That said, I think it’s still against a market which is somewhat challenging and I think it’s certainly investor confidence remains with a small ‘c’ although I think that the performance of the recent issues has really boosted that and go some way towards restoring IPO’s as the year unfolds.