Electra prices Premier Asset Management IPO as post-Brexit offerings pick up: Reuters

Electra Private Equity priced the initial public share offer for its Premier Asset Management Group on Tuesday, giving the business a market value of 140 million pounds ($179 million) and raising hopes of a pick-up in new UK share listings after a relatively barren year.

It is the fifth IPO to be announced in London in the last three weeks, including that of private equity-owned medical products maker ConvaTec, which said on Monday it planned to raise around $1.8 billion.

In June the surprise British vote to leave the EU compounded the earlier uncertainty leading up to the vote, unsettling some companies hoping to tap equity markets after the result.

But some bigger listings are now back in the pipeline, with Telefonica’s IPO for O2 UK expected in the coming months and BGL Group, the parent company of price comparisons website Comparethemarket, set for a London debut early next year.

Last month Electra Private Equity announced a 266 million pound IPO of Britain’s biggest ten-pin bowling operator, the only listing on the main London exchange in Q3. Prior to this, Pure Gym, said it would raise 190 million pounds in London.

But so far most of the London IPOs have been small. Six of the seven UK listings in the third quarter of the year were on the junior AIM market.

Accounting and consultancy services firm EY said larger businesses decided to postpone their listings during this period of heightened uncertainty over how and when the government would proceed in negotiating Britain’s divorce from the EU.

On Sunday Prime Minister Theresa May announced she would trigger the start of formal negotiations by the end of March.
“Although many of the businesses that have put their listing plans on hold are still set to revise their IPO timetables, the recovery in market pricing has made the IPO option attractive once again,” EY’s third-quarter report said, adding that a number of large IPOs remain in the pipeline.

Some banks interpreted Prime Minister’s comments made around her announcement on Sunday as indicating that Britain could be heading for a “hard Brexit” meaning Britain could abandon the EU’s customs union, give up on seeking preferential access to the single market, in order to take back its controls over immigration from the bloc.