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London IPO market hit as Arqiva and Bakkavor pull floats: Reuters

Broadcasting masts group Arqiva and ready meals supplier Bakkavor abandoned plans to launch two of the biggest floats in London this year on Friday, dealing a blow to Britain’s market for initial public offerings (IPO).

Arqiva, which had tried to sell itself before announcing its listing on Oct. 23, said it had postponed its float from which it had planned to raise about 1.5 billion pounds ($1.96 billion), blaming “IPO market uncertainty”. The masts business will “revisit” the listing when conditions “improve”, it added.

Bakkavor also announced that it was pulling its float despite receiving “sufficient institutional demand to cover the offering”.

The supplier of sandwiches and dips to Britain’s largest supermarkets had initially sought a stock market valuation of about 1.5 billion pounds but said it was scrapping the share sale because of the “the current volatility in the IPO market”.

It did not say in its statement if it would revive its listing plans if conditions recover.

The floats of Arqiva and Bakkavor helped to drive hopes of a resurgence of Britain’s IPO market, that has been muted since the country voted to leave the European Union in June last year. Their failure will raise questions about investor appetite for listings.

It comes after business services firm TMF scrapped its London IPO on Oct. 27 in favor of a 1.75 billion-euro sale to private equity house CVC Capital Partners.

Cabot Credit Management, Britain’s biggest debt collector, is currently in the process of raising about 195 million pounds in fresh capital from a London listing. Russian aluminum and hydropower group En+ Group also priced its global depositary receipts at $14 in an IPO on Friday, at the lower end of its guided range.