European floats show tech is still on top as 2018 proves to be a bumper year to go public

Emily Nicolle
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London's still coming out on top, despite an IPO downturn across Europe
London's still coming out on top, despite an IPO downturn across Europe (Source: Getty)

Initial public offerings (IPOs) in Europe ended the first half of 2018 on a five per cent rise in value compared to the same period in 2017, taking in a total of €21.8bn (£19.3bn) over 168 company listings.

The increase was also a four per cent boost in the number of companies listing over that period, up from 161 IPOs taking in €20.8bn in 2017 according to data from PwC’s IPO Watch Europe.

This was largely down to a strong bump from two mega listings at the beginning of 2018, coming from Siemens Healthineers and Deutsche Bank’s DWS Group, which both listed on the Deutsche Boerse.

Read more: Siemens set to list its €40bn healthcare technology company Healthineers

The second quarter of 2018 was less impressive, only taking in €9.3bn across 99 listings in a value decrease of 43 per cent compared to last year.

PwC’s Mark Hughes attributed this downturn to the looming trade war between the US and the rest of the world, as well as ongoing Brexit negotiations. He added that these events could extend market volatility into the second half of 2018, but that despite the current political and economic outlook, “the market is open and deals are being done”.

Standing strong in the face of adversity, London became the number one European exchange in the second quarter, where proceeds from public listings were up 25 per cent from last year.

Read more: Avast set for London’s largest tech listing at £2.8bn

Two of the top five European IPOs of the quarter were on the London Stock Exchange, with Avast and Vivo Energy raising £692m and £603m respectively.

The technology sector accounted for 40 per cent of all money raised in the UK via public listings in the second quarter at over £1bn, as Avast took the crown for London’s largest tech IPO to date.

PwC’s capital markets director Lucy Tarleton said that the alternative investment market appears to be “somewhat sheltered” from growing global political and economic uncertainty.

Read more: What would it take to produce Europe's first tech titan?

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