City IPOs: One falls down, four rise to take its place

Peter Spence
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Four companies announced plans to list on the LSE today (Source: Getty)

Investors keen to be involved in the IPO of clothing chain Fat Face were disappointed last night by news that its float was to be pulled.

A regulatory filing submitted this morning shows that "despite a strong level of interaction with and interest from institutional investors, the company and its majority shareholder have decided to discontinue its plans for an IPO at this stage."

The company cited "current equity market conditions" as the principal factor in deciding to abandon its plan to float in what was set to be a £300m plus IPO. But where Fat Face has decided not to proceed, four other firms have announced their intention to float on the London Stock Exchange this morning.

Zoopla, the property website

The Daily Mail & General Trust-owned property finding website, Zoopla, plans to list some of its shares on the LSE this June as the UK's property sector remains strong.

Zoopla is the world's second largest property website, and is 52.6 per cent owned by the publishers of the Daily Mail. The offer will comprise the sale of secondary shares only, with a free float of at least 25 per cent.

Analysts suggest that the company could be worth more than £1bn, with Liberum Capital putting DMGT's stake at £575m.

B&M, the discount retailer

The Blackpool founded discount retailer is seeking to raise £75m by floating on the main market of the London Stock Exchange. Trading in the UK, and also in Germany under the Jawoll and Hafu brand, it intends to use that money to reduce its net debt, among other things.

Sir Terry Leahy, non-executive chairman of B&M and a former chief executive of grocers Tesco commented that "the business has delivered impressive growth as a private company, but there is much more to come".

Wizz Air, the airline

Hungarian low-cost airline Wizz Air intends to raise €200m (£162m) by listing on the LSE. The carrier wants to use the funds to finance further expansion.

The airline operates 46 Airbus A320 planes, operating at 96 destinations, across 315 routes. Wizz Air's chief executive, Jozsef Varadi, says that the company is the "largest low-cost carrier in central and and eastern Europe".

The listing is being run by Barclays, Citi and JP Morgan, with Nomura acting as lead manager.

River and Mercantile, the investment solutions business

The group first mentioned plans for an IPO after completing a merger with investment consultancy P-Solve this year. Now, with £8.4bn assets under management, it wants to raise £12m on the LSE to develop new products.

Mike Faulkner, the company's chief executive, says that "in an evolving investment industry, the Group is well positioned to exploit the "Pensions Revolution" in which governance is increasingly a critical attribute of the client's investment strategy."

"We believe that our focused growth strategy, together with our operational gearing, strong cash generation and scalable business model should deliver long-term positive returns to shareholders," says Faulkner.

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