After days of fending off suggestions that its £800m flotation was in trouble, the challenger small business bank Aldermore finally succumbed to the inevitable yesterday.
The decision to call off the Initial Public Offering (IPO) is a pity for Aldermore and for the market as a whole.
London’s IPO market performed tremendously well during the first half of the year, banishing memories of 2012 when the door was well and truly closed to new companies wanting to tap institutions for funds.
A thriving IPO market is a big benefit for London. It helps smaller unproven companies to get off the ground and it provides work for thousands of advisers. We want the market to blossom. But we have to tell it how it is, and for days we were being told that this particular issue was never going to get off the ground.
Some of those working on the deal didn’t welcome our interest and even accused this newspaper of talking down the market.
Is there any wonder that we, who report on such matters, remain cynical about those we speak to when only on Sunday one of the advisers to the deal told us: “There’s no sense of repricing or a cancellation of this deal.”
There is always a delicate balance in reporting such stories, similar to the dilemma the BBC faced when it learnt of the financial problems at Northern Rock.
Just as there is a balance in what people choose to tell us. But our job is to inform, as accurately as we can, be it good news or bad. Yesterday’s turn of events confirmed we were right to be sceptical about the likely success of the Aldermore deal all along.
We wished it had gone ahead. Alas, it wasn’t to be.