IPO Watch Europe Q1 2021

Quarterly survey tracking the volume and value of IPOs on Europe's main stock exchanges.

European IPO activity in Q1 2021 saw a significant increase in issuance with 86 IPOs raising €22.6bn compared to €1.2bn in Q1 2020 from 16 IPOs and already surpassing full year 2020 IPO issuance. The increase in Q1 2021 is primarily driven by strong market conditions fuelled by post-pandemic optimism, improved macroeconomic backdrop and a significant pipeline of quality issuers ready to go public.

Q1 2021 European IPO issuance exceeded full year 2020 IPO proceeds

European IPO market remained very active throughout Q1 2021, marking it the best first quarter since 2000 and surpassing the full year 2020 IPO issuance levels. Notably, the top five IPOs in Q1 2021 (InPost, Vantage Towers, AUTO1 Group, Deliveroo, and Dr Martens) were all over €1bn, whereas, in the first quarter last year we saw much smaller transactions. The momentum in Q1 was driven by various factors such as positive market conditions on the back of post-pandemic optimism, continued government support programmes, improved macroeconomic indicators and significant pipeline of quality issuers that were ready to go public. The pipeline was also driven by increased IPO activity by PE houses looking to exit, supported by attractive valuations.

SPACs are gaining momentum in Europe

Q1 2021 SPACs issuance in the US have already exceeded the total issuance in all of last year. SPACs in Europe are gaining momentum with Euronext Amsterdam, Frankfurt and Stockholm exchanges becoming increasingly active, as well as being backed by top quality sponsors. European SPACs have a diverse industry, including a focus on technology, ESG and nutrition.

Cornerstones bring additional support to European IPOs

Another prominent feature of the European IPO markets this quarter has been the substantial cornerstone support of the European IPOs. A majority of high profile IPOs were supported by blue-chip institutional investors with cornerstone commitments being announced early in the marketing process helping to de-risk transactions and validate their equity stories. Whilst this is not a new feature to the IPO market, it has certainly added positive dynamics to the Q1 market and highlights the quality of the investment opportunities presented to the market this year.

Contact us

Mark Hughes

Mark Hughes

Partner, UK Capital Markets Leader, PwC United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)7736 599759

Richard Spilsbury

Richard Spilsbury

Partner, PwC United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)7703 503562

Follow us