James Moore: Urban Exposure’s time to shine will soon come


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The Independent Online

Outlook If you’re late to a party there’s always the risk that all the good booze will have been drunk by the time you get there.

This is a lesson that Urban Exposure is learning. The property investment firm was scheduled to join the ranks of public companies at the end of a flotation binge, the likes of which hasn’t been seen since before the financial crisis.

Its plans are now on hold because the market’s hangover is setting in.

It’s a shame, really. Financing home building is a business that should win a lot of friends right now, not to mention clients. But with nearly £6bn splurged on market debutantes in the space of just six months, it is no wonder the market is pausing for breath.

Urban Exposure is hardly alone in having thought twice about exposing itself to a chillier market climate than existed a few weeks ago. The clothing brand Fat Face might have to lose a bit of weight without the funds it hoped to feast on and Wizz Air has repaired to the slow lane. Now might be a good time to ask whether the appetite among so many companies to float and go public is such a good thing for UK plc. It is rather an Anglo-Saxon obsession, after all.

But the debate probably won’t get much of an airing. The City just loves a good float, and while investors may be wary of opening their doors to bankers and brokers hawking “can’t lose” investments right now, it won’t be long before they’re ajar again. The disappointed debutantes will get their dances at the ball.