A strong Q2 sees European IPO activity rebound following a quiet Q1

Jul 08, 2019

  • The value of IPOs in Europe totalled €11.4bn in Q2 2019, compared to €9.2bn in the same quarter last year – although taken as a whole, H1 2019 saw a 47% decline in amounts raised versus H1 2018, largely due to the disparity in Q1 IPO activity in the two years

  • London remains Europe’s listing venue of choice, raising its highest amount in a second quarter since 2014, despite seeing 38% fewer IPOs than the same period last year

  • Payments providers drove the growth in IPO values over the first quarter, ensuring Financials remained the largest sector raising a combined €4.7bn in Q2 2019

Europe’s IPO market recovered well in Q2 after a notably quiet first quarter, with total proceeds of €11.4bn raised from 41 IPOs amidst lower market volatility. Following a number of significant IPOs pricing at the end of June, total proceeds finished the quarter up by 24% on the same period last year in which 69 IPOs raised €9.2bn. In the UK, 13 IPOs raised £4.0bn in Q2 2019 versus 21 IPOs raising £2.8bn in Q2 2018. 

The increase in Q2 over Q1 2019 was largely driven by several mega-IPOs, including Nexi SpA, Network International Holdings, Trainline plc, Traton SE and Stadler Rail AG, which raised a combined €7.4bn. Two of the top three IPOs were payments providers helping to ensure that Financials remained the largest sector in Q2, accounting for 43% of H1 2019 value. In the UK, seven of the 13 listings were from the Financials sector, raising a total of £2.0bn.

Peter Whelan, UK IPO lead at PwC UK, commented:

“The European IPO market is showing signs of recovery following a particularly quiet first quarter. Although geopolitical tensions and looming Brexit deadlines caused companies and markets to exercise caution earlier in the year, this now appears to be less of a concern. 

While there have been fewer small deals in this quarter, we have seen a number of major transactions. This has included a good number of private equity backed companies that delivered significant investor demand and positive aftermarket performance - notably Network International, Watches of Switzerland and Trainline - providing some of the best debuts among large European companies in 2019.”

London has retained its position as Europe’s top exchange for overall capital raising, accounting for 42% of IPO values in H1 2019. It remains the market of choice for international issuers, with Middle Eastern payments business Network International Holdings and Africa’s largest mobile operator, Airtel Africa, choosing to float in the UK. The Shanghai-London Stock Connect initiative that launched in June is likely to contribute further to this position.

Roslyn Gamsa, Capital Markets Director at PwC UK, added:

“We continue to see domestic and international issuers choosing London as the most attractive market. Whilst we have less visibility on the H2 pipeline at the moment, we do have several significant transactions preparing for an IPO in London in the medium term.”


Notes to editors

  1. IPO Watch Europe surveys all new primary market equity IPOs on Europe’s principal stock markets and market segments (including exchanges in Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and the UK) on a quarterly basis. Movements between markets on the same exchange are excluded.

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