Aldermore IPO decision shows how little appetite there is from anything but exceptional unlisted companies
The decision by advisers to Aldermore, the lender to small businesses, to pull its flotation is the most high profile collapse in the new issues market this year, reflecting widespread concerns that there is little appetite left in London market for anything but exceptional unlisted companies who wish to raise new funds.
The group, which had been aiming for a valuation of around £800m, is highly regarded in its sector. It was also being roared on by those who believe the current banking behemoths need a shake-up around the fringes from the so-called challenger banks.
In the end, though, a number of factors moved against it, making this morning's unfortunate decision inevitable.
Firstly, the market as a whole have turned sharply downwards in the past few days, with Eurozone concerns returning, oil prices falling and volatility indices moving upward.
Added to this, the advisers in the new issues market have not helped themselves. During a glut of new issues during the first half of the year, too many of them were priced at levels the institutions found to be at the top end.
There have been squabbles about the reasons for this, with some blaming the independent financial advisers like STJ, Rothschild and Lazard (on this one) for seeking too high an exit price for pre-flotation shareholders, especially those of a private equity bent.
There are still other groups out there seeking institutional funds, such as Virgin Money, Fevertree and British Car Auctions. Good luck to them all. They will need it in this chilly climate.