IPO Watch Europe Q1 2019

European IPO market particularly quiet in Q1 as companies wait for uncertainty to lift

The European IPO markets have seen a slow start to 2019 with concerns regarding the global macro picture and continued geopolitical uncertainty. Despite this, we are still seeing a healthy number of companies preparing for IPOs later in 2019.

Despite supportive markets IPOs were paused in early 2019, however we are now starting to see selective activity

Volatile markets in the last quarter of 2018 cast a shadow into the start of 2019 and, despite positive indices, IPO activity across Europe has been low during Q1 2019 as uncertainty drove caution for companies, issuers and investors.


Despite the UK IPO market being 58% down by value on Q1 2018, the London Stock Exchange was the most active exchange in terms of value in Q1 2019

While the pause button has been hit, London still retains its position as an international listing venue of choice, with companies such as the Middle Eastern payments business Network International choosing to float in the UK capital, and Rustranscom, the specialist rail freight transportation company, having recently announced its intention to float in London.

Q1 2019 has seen the lowest European IPO volumes and values since 2009

The figures for European IPOs this first quarter, including the UK, look particularly stark in comparison to Q1 2018, which saw two mega-IPOs buck the trend for what is traditionally a quiet quarter in the market.

“London remains an attractive listing destination and we are watching the market closely as investors have cash to deploy despite the uncertainty. There are certain pockets of activity but generally we expect the current situation to continue until companies have greater clarity on the future geopolitical landscape.”

Lucy Tarleton Director, UK Capital Markets Group at PwC

Contact us

Peter Whelan

Partner, UK IPO Lead, PwC United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)7770 977 937

Lucy Tarleton

Director​, PwC United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)7701 295718

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