Danish provider of UK public services plots £1.5bn listing

DANISH outsourcer ISS, one of Britain’s largest providers of public sector services, said yesterday it expected to raise $2.4bn (£1.5bn) with an initial public offering (IPO).

The firm, which counts hospital catering staff and cleaners amongst the 41,000 people it employs in Britain, is considering a Copenhagen listing in one of the biggest stock market offerings in Europe so far this year.

ISS will use the proceeds to pay down debt and to develop a growth strategy. Part owned by Goldman Sachs Capital Partners and EQT, the private equity vehicle operated by Sweden’s Wallenberg family, the firm had been slated for an $8.5bn sale to Apax partners, the London-based private equity house.

However, its owners have instead pursued an IPO on Copenhagen’s Nasdaq OMX exchange, with the firm’s share price range to be revealed next month. ISS yesterday revealed an increase in revenue to £8.4bn over last year, with operating profits of £462.4m.

Chief executive Jeff Gravenhorst said: “We look forward to offering potential new shareholders in ISS the opportunity to be part of our growth and development going forward.”