Prime pulls IPO as it misses £200m target

City A.M. Reporter
Healthcare property firm Prime pulled its London initial public offering (IPO), saying it was unable to raise its £200m target.

The company, which invests in and manages healthcare properties, had already cut the listing price and extended its deadline by 24 hours to entice investors.

"Ultimately the amount raised did not warrant the level of dilution in management shares," Chief Executive Richard Laing said in a statement.

A recent equity markets boost has supported a resurgence in European public offerings, with a number of companies getting their IPOs away towards the upper end of their price guidance.

But bankers say investors remain discerning, particularly with regards to price and growth potential.

Evolution Securities and JP Morgan were joint bookrunners on the offering.

The UK commercial property market is expected to remain uncertain in the coming months, as concerns over the economy and government budget cuts rattle investors.

Prime said plans to make acquisitions and pay down debt that it had intended to use the funds for would not be affected by the cancellation of the listing.

"We have the resources to pursue our business plan and look forward to continuing to grow and broaden the business," Laing said in the statement.

At the fixed offer price of 190 pence per share, cut from the original 210-250 pence range, Prime would have raised £170m, a source told Reuters.

That would be £30 million below target.

While investor demand was strong, management had not been able to achieve the value they had in mind, and did not feel the need to rush into listing, a source close to the deal said.

Prime said it should benefit from Britain's plans to move more healthcare services out of hospitals, generating greater demand for its purpose-built, local centres.

The firm, which wholly or partly owns 74 properties, is looking to acquire public sector property portfolios and plans to take advantage of a government drive to improve efficiency in running its facilities.