The boss of Huel said the UK’s flagging initial public offering market has made a London listing less attractive, as he admitted the group was open to being acquired.
Chief Executive James McMaster told the Financial Times that the meal replacement maker considered a float before the IPO market “died” at the beginning of 2022, but has since been put off pursuing a listing.
“Going back two years ago, everyone was saying how great the markets were and maybe in time they will come back…If not, we are open-minded to some form of partnership with a larger company,” McMaster said to the FT.
New flotations have fallen off a cliff this year as firms grapple with lower valuations, higher interest rates and continued geopolitical instability. According to figures from EY, just 23 firms have listed in the UK in the first three quarters of this year, raising £953mn, compared to 34 IPOs, raising £1.16bn, over the same period of an already quiet 2022.
McMaster’s comments come just days after Mars announced it was buying Hotel Chocolat.
Huel was valued at £440mn a year ago. It swung to a pretax profit in the year ended July 31 and posted a 28 per cent increase in sales.