The world’s biggest producer of natural soda ash has revealed plans for a rare London listing today in a boost to the London Stock Exchange after a barren period to start the year.
Turkish-owned WE Soda, which produces sodium carbonate used in everything from glass manufacturing to electric batteries and washing powder, said it was eyeing a listing on London’s main market today.
The plans come after a torrid period for the IPO market in London in which total cash raised plummeted beyond 80 per cent in the first three months.
Recent reports in Dealreporter suggest the float could fetch WE Soda a valuation of some $8bn, meaning the firm could slot into the FTSE100.
Alasdair Warren, chief of WE Soda, said this morning that the firm defined its purpose as to “responsibly produce essential ingredients for a sustainable future”.
“I believe our combination of unique operating capability, sustainable products and operations, scale and market leadership gives us “locked-in” structural and competitive advantages, which makes for a compelling investment case,” he added.
JP Morgan has been secured as sole sponsor for the deal, as well as acting as global co-ordinator and joint bookrunner alongside BNP Paribas and Goldman Sachs International.
The firm is also mulling allocating a block of shares to retail investors, with up to £6,950,000 potential set aside via the PrimaryBid retail IPO platform.
The deal comes as London scrambles to boost its appeal as a listings venue and secure more IPOs amid a global downturn and a slew of companies ditching their London listings for New York.
London Stock Exchange officials and regulators have been looking to tweak regulation to try and boost the appeal of the capital. The Financial Conduct Authority is hoping to accelerate an overhaul of listing rules to revive the market, with a consultation open on the changes until later this summer.