Wednesday 3 February 2021 4:59 pm

London IPO activity off to a flying start with busiest January since 2006

London markets shook off the January blues with a rush of IPOs, a trend that is set to continue through the year. 

Building on the momentum seen towards the end of last year, it was the busiest January for the City since 2006. It raised $2.2bn from four listings, including Moonpig and Dr Martens, according to Refinitiv Deals Intelligence. 

This marks just a portion of the $33.1bn raised from 126 floats worldwide, making it the highest January proceeds on record and the busiest start since 1997. Kuaishou Technology’s $5.4bn Hong Kong listing is the biggest deal so far this year. 

Read more: SPACs explained: The blank cheque vehicles loved by Richard Branson, Tidjane Thiam and Wilbur Ross?

The popularity of the technology sector through the sector has seen it enjoy its busiest start in 21 years, raising $21bn through 25 deals, more than 15 times the amount last year. 

London is expecting its own tech boom this year with Deliveroo and Darktrace both preparing for IPOs later in the year. 

Appetite for blank cheque vehicles favoured by the likes of Richard Branson and former US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross unsurprisingly continued into January and formed a large proportion of activity. 

Activity from special acquisition companies (SPACS) jumped to a monthly record of $24.1bn from 90 issuances in January, surpassing the record set in October 2020. 

“After a record wave of issuance in 2020, global IPO activity is off to a hot start in 2021 with SPAC listings forming a significant proportion of overall proceeds,” Cornelia Andersson, head of M&A and capital raising at Refinitiv. 

“With a more stable geopolitical landscape in the US and UK and signs of promise with Covid-19 vaccines, companies looking to raise capital are putting plans firmly back on the agenda. The strong start for SPACs also bodes well for a busy 2021 for investment banking.” 

Read more: Film financier Great Point set for London IPO