Meet the companies that have ignored London's EU referendum IPO freeze

 
William Turvill
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Several companies are understood to have put off flotation plans in London since the Brexit vote (Source: Getty)

Last month’s Brexit vote is thought to have led to several companies, including Hollywood Bowl and NewDay, putting their flotation plans on hold.

But some, generally smaller, companies have taken the plunge and launched initial public offerings (IPOs), or announced their intentions to, in the weeks since the vote.

They include an Italian PR outfit, a Canadian online bingo firm and, in recent days, two medical companies.

Italian PR company

Today, Italian public relations company SEC listed on the London Stock Exchange’s junior market, the alternative investment market (Aim).

SEC’s managing director Cesare Valli told City A.M. the firm had chosen to list in London because of its place at the centre of the PR industry.

Read more: Why Brexit will be no problem for London's IPO market in the long term

“We had the choice to go to the [market] in Italy, but actually the [market] in Italy is much smaller in terms of companies listed,” he said. “So we decided that Aim London had to be the place, being much larger with much more liquidity than… in Italy.”

He added: “Even after Brexit this will be a very important market. This is the place where many headquarters of blue-chips are based and therefore it’s the [best] market for us.”

Infertility-specialised medical company Concepta also listed on Aim today as part of a reverse takeover of Frontier Resources.

Chief executive Erik Henau told City A.M.: “The only concern was that everything was on hold and uncertainty’s never good. We thought there might be no interest. But, on the contrary, the interest was still there for our business, so we went ahead.”

He explained that as an international-focused business, the EU referendum result does not effect his business.

Elsewhere, stem cell company WideCells Group has raised £2m and is listing on the main market of the London Stock Exchange tomorrow.

Canadian online bingo company

Canadian online bingo firm Intertain Group announced its intention to list on the London Stock Exchange today.

The company said: “Intertain believes that the UK is the natural home for its listing, particularly following its acquisition of the Jackpotjoy business, and that the key advantages of a London listing for the Intertain group remain substantially unaffected by the outcome of the UK referendum on European Union membership…

“Intertain expects that a London Listing would provide it with access to a large, liquid and international market that is home to a significant number of Intertain's global gaming industry peers and a majority of its online gaming peers.”

Elsewhere, Franchise Brands announced yesterday that it wants to raise up to £3.5m from a float on Aim in this quarter.

Read more: Rarer than a unicorn? This venture capital firm just floated in London

Pre-referendum floats

Several firms were understood to be holding back on making IPO decisions ahead of the EU referendum.

Time Out was one of the more high-profile companies to go against that trend, listing on 14 June.

Its share price dropped from 140p on its float day down to 130p at the beginning of this week.

However, after the company provided a trading update reporting its revenue grew by 16 per cent in the first half of this year, its share jumped more than four per cent to 135p.

Discount northern loo roll company Accrol floated on 13 June. Its share price has risen from 110p to 113p.

Chief executive Steve Crossley told City A.M.: “I think in hindsight it’s been very good timing for us. There were a lot of comments in the marketplace at the time, around ‘are you you sure you should not be waiting?’”

But he added that the “the timing has proved to be nothing but very good”.

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