Smart Technologies offers IPOs hope as it gets $660m Nasdaq listing away

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The Independent Online

Markets on both sides of the Atlantic breathed a sigh of relief as Smart Technologies, which makes interactive whiteboards, floated successfully in the US yesterday.

After a tough week for companies looking to go public, Canada-based Smart raised $660m on the Nasdaq exchange in what was America's second-largest initial public offering (IPO) of the year. The company will receive 23 per cent of the IPO, which it said would be used to pay down debt and bankroll potential deals. Its backers Intel and the private equity group Apax Partners will divide up the rest. However, the company's share price retreated 2.2 per cent by lunchtime on its first day.

Promethean World, a rival maker of electronic whiteboards, floated on the London Stock Exchange earlier this year. Following a series of cancelled IPOs in Britain, the market was relieved when it priced successfully in March at the same time as clothing company SuperGroup. Promethean shares, which listed at 198p, have risen as high as 213.5p but have since tumbled to 166.64p.

KKR, the private equity giant, also started trading in the US yesterday, and its shares fell 0.5 per cent.

The performance will be watched carefully by RealD, which makes 3D film projectors, and Qlik Technologies, which together are looking to raise more than $1bn this week.

The most high profile forthcoming float in the UK is that of online grocery store Ocado. The company was yesterday forced to confirm that it was going ahead with the float, despite market concerns as another company abandoned its listing.

Fairfield Energy, a North Sea oil business, was preparing to come to market seeking to raise £330m, but the offering was pulled "in light of market conditions".

The deadline for private investors to buy into Ocado is Sunday night with applications for institutional investors closing two days later.

City analysts have expressed fears that the price range of 200p to 275p – the latter valuing the company at £1.1bn – is too high and it could go as low as 128p a share.