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IPO Watch Europe Q3 2021

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

European YTD IPO activity continued to be robust. Following one of the busiest H1 in recent history, Q3 IPO activity remained strong despite some volatility in the market in September and generally quieter summer period. In Europe, so far this year 287 IPOs raised €55.4bn, compared to 64 IPOs raising €11.7bn in the same period of 2020. Q3 2021 has delivered 64 IPOs raising €10.9bn, compared to 33 IPOs raising €6.2bn in Q3 last year.

Strong IPO momentum continues in Q3 2021, supported by robust pipeline

Equity markets in Europe finished Q3 2021 with modest gains despite increased volatility and a mixed macroeconomic backdrop. Notably, the weakness in September was driven by several factors such as inflation concerns and expectations around potential tightening of the monetary policies by central banks, rising uncertainty around the pace of the economic recovery and the impact of the Delta variant of COVID-19. In addition, signs of slowdown in China - including weak consumer spending data and, more recently, the Evergrande debt crisis - has affected market confidence.

However, despite some turbulence in the markets, European IPO momentum continued at a healthy pace keeping investors busy with a number of transactions pricing in Q3. Following extraordinary H1 issuance levels, Q3 2021 IPO issuance is more in line with historical levels, albeit it's still the most active Q3 in recent years despite generally quieter summer months. London Stock Exchange regained its dominant spot in the European IPO market with €1bn+ IPOs of Petershill Partners and Bridgepoint Group and Euronext Brussels claimed the second place, boosted by the €1.5bn IPO of Azelis Group.

Investors focus on aftermarket performance, quality of issuers and ESG

We have noted signs of deal fatigue and investor selectivity that have started to emerge towards the end of the second quarter – a theme that has continued in Q3. With a significant pipeline of deals to choose from, the IPO market has become a buyers market where investors zoom in on the valuation and attractiveness of the investment case, as demonstrated by some of the recently cancelled or downsized transactions. Another important consideration for investors is the aftermarket performance that ties back into the pricing and the overall story of the issuers and highlights the importance of early meetings with investors and ability to demonstrate an attractive equity story underpinned by a robust set of KPIs.

An ESG agenda remains an important consideration in the investors’ decision making process. Our recent global investor survey on driving progress in ESG highlights that investors expect ESG to be a core part of the strategy with a clear route to net zero targets, as well as strong controls across the businesses and transparency of performance.

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

Ekaterina Chmatova

Ekaterina Chmatova

Senior Manager, UK Capital Markets, PwC United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)7710 036613

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