Macquarie abandons £300m fund listing

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The Independent Online

The Australian investment bank Macquarie has shelved plans to float one of its funds on the London market, blaming its change of heart on poor market conditions.

The Macquarie Global Income Fund had hoped to raise as much as £300m by listing on AIM, in what would have been the company's first float on the London Stock Exchange. A spokesperson confirmed the launch had been abandoned. "We looked at [launching] a product earlier this year," she said, "but decided not to go ahead because market conditions were uncertain."

Although UK equity markets had a bumpy period over the summer, they have picked up in recent weeks. The company refused to comment on whether it would consider revisiting the float.

Reports in the financial trade press suggested that as well as tough market conditions, the company had also received a lukewarm welcome for the product from fund managers, who are reputed to be unimpressed with its high charges. The fund is also expected to have a large holding in several of Macquarie's infrastructure investments, which many of the same fund managers have only recently exited from.

Fund managers believe infrastructure assets are overpriced due to the intense bidding wars for companies such as P&O and BAA over the past year.

The news came as Macquarie unveiled a hostile approach for an infrastructure asset, only days after winning the £8bn auction for Thames Water. Macquarie's latest target is Techem, a German company which meters water use and is worth about €1.1bn (£737m). Macquarie's European Infrastructure II fund has already acquired a 17 per cent stake in the company, and is looking to get a majority share.