London set for biggest IPO in six years as warehouse giant plots 2017 float

 
William Turvill
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Logicor, which counts Amazon among its customers, owns around 600 warehouses (Source: Getty)

London is set for its biggest float in more than half a decade, City A.M. can reveal.

Private equity giant Blackstone is aiming to list warehouse business Logicor, which is valued at around €13bn (£11bn), on the London Stock Exchange in 2017.

Sources told City A.M. the initial public offering (IPO) could come in the first six months of the year.

The IPO would be a major boost to the London market after numerous floats were pulled towards the end of 2016.

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Commercial landlord giant Logicor, which owns around 600 warehouses and counts Amazon among its customers, was founded by Blackstone’s real estate unit in 2012 to operate and manage its logistics assets in Europe.

If the listing goes ahead as expected, it would be the biggest IPO in the UK since Glencore went public in 2011 with a valuation of £36bn.

Banking heavyweight Goldman Sachs and real estate specialist Eastdil Securities are advising Blackstone on the blockbuster float, with other London banks competing for involvement.

Blackstone could also consider a sale or potentially seek a listing elsewhere, but a London float is understood to be the most likely outcome of the exit.

Senior bankers and lawyers, who asked not to be named, told City A.M. they are quietly confident about the IPO market this year after a tough end to 2016.

Tech giant Misys, Pure Gym and TI Fluid Systems were among the companies to ditch their plans last year after formally announcing intentions to float.

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Compare The Market owner BGL Group and O2 are among the companies advancing with flotation plans. But, as with 2016, political uncertainty could take its toll.

“There’s still the uncertainty around that we had towards the end of last year after the referendum,” Lucy Tarleton, PwC’s director of capital markets in the UK, told City A.M. “However, despite all the risk and uncertainty, the IPO pipeline here in London looks relatively healthy.”

Nicholas Hyett, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, is also hopeful of an IPO recovery following 2016, “the most disappointing year we’ve had in terms of public offerings in a long time”.

He told City A.M.: “We’re looking at some degree of certainty on what Brexit is going to look like. That helps. The other thing is that the UK economy hasn’t fallen off a cliff as people predicted it would.”

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