Another London Stock Exchange strike: Hollywood Bowl's IPO is imminent

William Turvill
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Hollywood Bowl originally intended to float on the London Stock Exchange in July (Source: Getty)

Hollywood Bowl is set to price its initial public offering (IPO) on the London Stock Exchange as early as tomorrow, City A.M. understands.

Hollywood Bowl first announced its intention to float, in a move that could raise £280m, shortly before the EU referendum in June, with admission onto the LSE expected in July. However, these plans were put on hold when the UK voted for Brexit.

But the bowling company is set to price its flotation within the next two or three working days, meaning the announcement could come on Friday or early next week, with admission following shortly afterwards.

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The company, which is the UK’s largest ten-pin bowling operator with more than 50 centres across the UK, is currently owned by private equity group Electra Partners.

News of the Hollywood Bowl float comes at the end of a week in which Pure Gym, Go Compare and Biffa have all announced flotation plans.

And it’s not just British companies that are targeting the UK stock exchange, with two Canada-based companies – miner Strongbow Exploration and online bingo platform Intertain – and a South African mineral exporter White Rivers all announcing plans to float in recent weeks.

In addition, Misys is plotting a £5.5bn IPO, which would be the London’s largest of 2016. Mobile network O2 has also said it could launch a float on the stock exchange this year. And Krispy Kreme is planning a UK float next month.

Read more: Go Compare deal to kick off strong IPO activity

Mark Austin, a capital markets partner at law firm giant Freshfields, said that after a quiet start to 2016, and a short IPO “hiatus” after the UK’s Brexit vote, the market is picking up.

He told City A.M.: “Things got very quiet after the first quarter, with companies waiting to see what the referendum was going to hold.

"There was a two or three week hiatus following the referendum [but] it's been one of the busiest Augusts in years.”

He added: “If the markets hold up and investors stay keen, there is a big pipeline of large companies coming up, not just for the fourth quarter but for the first half of next year as well.”

According to Dealogic, 13 IPOs have been priced on the main market of the LSE so far this year.

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