£1bn Alfa Financial Software IPO sparks hopes of recovery for London's stuttering flotation market

William Turvill
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Alfa began conditional dealing on Friday when its share price jumped more than 30 per cent (Source: Getty)

Tech company Alfa Financial Software is set to complete London’s biggest listing of the year this week, and bankers believe its success could encourage other firms to take the plunge.

Alfa entered the market for conditional dealing on Friday and saw its shares shoot up more than 30 per cent from 325p to 430p, pushing its valuation above £1bn.

The company, which provides software to the likes of Barclays and Mercedes, is set for a full admission into the market and unconditional dealing on Thursday at 8am.

Read more: Global ports operator sets sail on to the London Stock Exchange

After a tumultuous end to 2016 for London’s flotation market, with various companies pulling listing plans in the autumn, it has been a slow start to 2017.

But Alex Ham, a co-chief executive of Numis who advised on the Alfa initial public offering (IPO), predicted other companies could be encouraged by the successful listing.

“I think people will take notice,” he told City A.M. “Financial sponsors, entrepreneurs, founder-owned businesses, I think people will recognise that, without question, the public markets are paying a real premium to where the private market might have been for a business like this.

“Not just this transaction, but I think in general deals seem to be going pretty well. The market levels, in terms of absolute stock market levels and also volatility, make for a very good listing environment.”

He added: “I would certainly expect people to take notice of this. We are obviously talking to a number of similar businesses… and I think people really recognise that the market offers a pretty compelling proposition.”

Other bankers spoken to by City A.M. have suggested there is a large pipeline of companies readying themselves for market and have predicted a busy autumn for IPOs.

Read more: Irish government set to float €12bn state-owned AIB in London within months

Behind the deal

Alex Ham – Numis

The Numis team, led by Alex Ham, was joint global co-ordinator, joint bookrunner and joint sponsor on the deal alongside Barclays, while Rothschild was financial adviser to Alfa.

Ham is co-chief executive of Numis, a position he was appointed to alongside Ross Mitchinson last year.

Ham was nominated at City A.M.’s Dealmaker of the Year in 2016 and won the Rising Star award back in 2011.

Also advising…

The Numis team was also made up of James Taylor, Simon Willis, Tom Ballard and Jonathan Abbott.

Barclays advisers Tom Johnson, Jessel Sheth, David Seal and Lawrence Jamieson were led by vice chairman Phil Shelley.

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