UK IPOs off to best start for 15 years ahead of listings review shake-up

The London Stock Exchange has had its strongest start to a year since 2016 ahead of the publication of a report aimed at strengthening the UK’s listing regime.

Data from the London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) shows that there were 11 initial public offerings raising £3.24bn in the year to 24 February.

It marks the strongest start to a calendar year since 2016 when there were 31 floats, which raised £4.43bn by the same stage.

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The data comes ahead of the release this week of a review into the UK’s listing regime by Lord Hill, which aims to boost the UK’s attractiveness for tech floats.

The review is set to allow tech entrepreneurs to retain greater control over their companies via dual-class share structures, Sky News reported.

The review, which is set to be published on 3 March, may also call for the creation of a new high-growth segment on the London Stock Exchange to act as a focal point for tech companies with listing aspirations, the report said.

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Chancellor Rishi Sunak commissioned the review in November amid fears that the UK could miss out on tech listings to the US Spac boom and face increased competition from European bourses post-Brexit.

Last week, William Russell, Lord Mayor of the City of London, and Charlotte Crosswell, chief executive of Innovate Finance, urged the government to do more to attract IPOs to the City.

“There is no denying that we need to do more to attract IPOs – especially when it comes to entrepreneurial and fast-growing sectors such as tech,” they wrote.

“We are … seeing a small but significant number of high growth UK companies opting to list in the US instead of London, leveraging the rise of US special purpose acquisition companies, or SPACs instead to access public markets more quickly,” they added.

However, London’s strong start to the year looks set to continue with Denmark-based review website Trustpilot announcing on 1 March that it was aiming for a £1bn London float.

Food delivery firm Deliveroo is also aiming for a float this year, which could value the company at $7bn and raise up to $2.8bn.

Other major floats this year include bootmaker Dr Marten’s, which raised nearly £1.5bn, and online card delivery company Moonpig which raised £540m.

The Treasury declined to comment.

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