Flotations jump three-fold as Europe takes off

Tim Wallace
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FLOTATIONS on Europe’s stock markets in the first quarter of this year raised more money than floats in the same period of the last five years combined, PwC data showed today.

Increasing confidence in the economic recovery is behind the boom, and the UK is in the lead – 32 of the 68 floats were on the London Stock Exchange.

Initial public offerings brought in €11.4bn (£9.4bn) in the first three months of the year, more than three times the €3.3bn raised in the same period of 2012. And in the five years from 2009 to 2013, the IPOs in the first quarter raised a total of €10.7bn.

The first quarter of 2014 saw 68 listings, up from 45 in 2013.

Two-thirds of the money was raised by the 10 biggest IPOs.

French telecoms firm Altice led the way with a €1.3bn listing.

But British firms dominated the rankings with four top-10 flotations in the quarter. The largest was Kennedy Wilson Europe Real Estate, a finance firm which raised €1bn.

The UK firms were joined by Russian consumer services group Lenta, which also floated in London.

“In the last two quarters we’ve seen larger deals, high subscription levels and good aftermarket performance, all signs of a wide-open IPO window,” said PwC’s Richard Weaver. “We are also still seeing a degree of residual caution in the market which means IPO candidates must still present a clear and well substantiated equity story if they want to be part of must-own deals.”