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London’s IPO market proves resilient in 2020 despite COVID-19 and Brexit-related uncertainties

17/12/20

London’s IPO market proves resilient in 2020 despite COVID-19 and Brexit-related uncertainties, with the pipeline looking strong in 2021

  • Despite the disruption from COVID-19, European IPO proceeds in 2020 reached almost €20.0bn - down approximately 10% compared to 2019, in which €22.1bn was raised 

  • The London IPO market proved resilient with £5.5bn (€6.1bn) raised to 9 December 2020 compared to £5.9bn (€6.7bn) in 2019

  • Financials and industrials dominated listings in London, raising over 95% of the £5.5bn total raised to date

Despite choppy IPO market conditions in 2020, the London Stock Exchange (LSE) retained its position as Europe’s most active market, with proceeds accounting for almost a third of total European proceeds raised this year.  

As of 9 December, London IPO volumes totalled 26, which is in line with the 2019 total of 27.  While London IPO values are currently down 7% on last year, a small number of IPOs are still due to complete in December, meaning the 2020 total is likely to exceed the 2019 total.

Financials and industrials are the largest sectors for London in 2020, respectively raising almost £2.7bn from 11 IPOs and £2.6bn from 6 IPOs year-t0-date . THG Holdings plc is the largest IPO listed in London this year so far, having raised £1.9bn. Looking ahead to next year, ecommerce, technology and financials, along with the renewables sector, are likely to be particularly active.

Despite the backdrop of Brexit, London has continued to attract cross-border IPOs, such as the Global Depository Receipt (GDR) share offerings by Kaspi.kz, (Kazakhstan fintech), AB Ignitis Grupe (Lithuanian utilities company), and China Yangtze Power via Shanghai-London Stock Connect.

London is also the largest exchange in Europe for Further Offers (FOs), raising £41.2bn (€45.3bn), approximately 17% of Europe’s total.  The relaxation of rules allowing UK companies to raise up to 20% of their issued share capital without offering pre-emption to shareholders has boosted the market for further offers.  Following a period of companies strengthening their balance sheets earlier in the year, some more recent further capital raises has supported increased M&A activity - this is also driving the need for primary capital to preserve credit quality and fund growth.

Lucy Tarleton, Capital Markets director at PwC UK, said:

“Further offers have featured prominently in UK capital markets activity in 2020, however it’s positive news that amid the uncertainties, London has proven to be a resilient market for IPOs. Despite a subdued start, we’ve seen activity pick up towards the end of 2020 - especially in Q4 - and expect a strong finish to the year.” 

Mark Hughes, Capital Markets partner at PwC, added:

“Looking ahead, the strong finish to the year is building a solid pipeline for 2021. Critically, we are also seeing progress on the COVID-19 vaccine rollout and should soon have greater clarity on the future of the UK-EU trading arrangement, both of which provide a positive backdrop to the IPO markets as we head into 2021. 

“We should also note the UK Listings Review, which will report into the Treasury in early 2021. Clearly there is ambition to attract the most innovative and fast-growing tech firms to list on the LSE and, combined with the success of THG Holdings, it’ll be interesting to see whether other unicorns follow suit next year.”


Ends.

Notes to editors

Top 5 London IPOs

     

Pricing Date

Company

Total value incl. GS (£m)

ICB_Industry_Name

16/09/2020

THG Holdings plc

1,881

Industrials

02/12/2020

Conduit Holdings Ltd

821

Financials

15/10/2020

Kaspi.kz JSC

771

Financials

2/10/2020

Ignitis Grupe AB

410

Utilities

07/02/2020

Calisen plc

337

Industrials


1.  All market data is sourced from Dealogic and has not been independently verified by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP.
2.  Industry classification is based on the FTSE Russell Industry Classification Benchmark (ICB).

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