Intelligent Energy may pull float as City baulks at valuation

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The Independent Online

Intelligent Energy, the fuel cell business which counts Lord Owen, the former Social Democrat leader, among its directors, may have to pull its flotation after City institutions baulked at its valuation of up to £130m.

Intelligent Energy, the fuel cell business which counts Lord Owen, the former Social Democrat leader, among its directors, may have to pull its flotation after City institutions baulked at its valuation of up to £130m.

The company's bankers, JP Morgan, have already cut the price in order to attract buyers for its shares ahead of a planned listing later this month. The bank is now trying to build a book of prospective shareholders on the basis of a £90m valuation for the business.

However, it is possible the float will have to be pulled altogether if the reduction in price is not enough to tempt potential shareholders.

Intelligent Energy, which has Yukos, the Russian oil giant as one of its stakeholders, is the latest in a string of companies that have struggled to get IPOs away in recent weeks.

Worries over the economy have made stock markets nervous and investors are also blaming "indigestion" after a slew of new issues so far this year. The bicycle group Halfords and the sportswear company Umbro have had to drop the price in order to get investors to stump up.

However, more companies are pushing ahead with plans to float. Amino Technology, which supplies television channels through the internet, said yesterday it had successfully completed a placing of shares. The Cambridge-based business will float next Wednesday, with a market capitalisation of £61m. While the company said there has been strong appetite for its shares, their price, of 120p, is slightly below the middle of the range offered to the City in April.

Separately XL TechGroup yesterday signalled its intention to raise £20m-£25m which will be used immediately to buy a 35 per cent stake in a US-based technology incubator. Its most advanced investee company is AgCert, a venture for reducing emissions from farm animal waste and converting the savings into tradeable "emissions credits" under new environmental legislation.

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