Just-Eat float will have no retail component

 
Peter Spence
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City AM has learned that the float of fast food website Just-Eat will have no retail component.

Retail investors will be able to go through brokers who've put in an institutional bid, but there'll be no direct access to the initial public offering (IPO).

This mirrors Poundland's recent IPO, which also lacked a retail component. Pets At Home however did.

Just-Eat expects to raise as much as £100m from its primary offering, estimating that the delivery takeaway food market was worth £58bn in 2013.

The website boasts the world's largest online marketplace for restaurant delivery, and has expanded to operate in 13 countries since launching in 2001.

David Buttress, chief executive officer of Just-Eat has said that the company's purpose "is to empower consumers to love their takeaway experience".

Less keen to empower consumers when it comes to their IPO, evidently. Now only Barclays can really claim to be friendly to retail investors - see the floats of Merlin, Infinis, and Royal Mail.

Just-Eat has been working with advisers from US investment banks Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan. Perhaps then it's not surprising that there will be no retail element - US banks are often averse to dealing with what is seen as a fiddly process.

Dr Tim May, chief executive of the Wealth Management Association, says that "it seems fundamentally wrong to deny your customers a chance to share in your company's fortunes."

"Individual shareholders are good for companies and good for the economy", says May. "They are typically investors, not speculators - they tend to be longer-term holders of shares. They are also the foundation of good governance - companies with a broad shareholder base have to take their accountability seriously."