Zoopla heads listings rush but worries emerge over market conditions

 

Zoopla led a stampede of companies looking to float in London in the most bullish conditions since 2007, with four new stock-market listings announced with a combined potential value of £4.5 billion.

But concerns that the market is peaking were fuelled after clothing retailer Fat Face, which is chaired by Ocado boss Sir Stuart Rose, pulled its initial public offering because of “current equity market conditions”.

It comes a day after old-age group Saga warned its planned float price will be at the lower end of expectations.

Zoopla, the online property advertising group in which Daily Mail & General Trust has a near-53 per cent stake, is the highest-profile debutant with a likely valuation of around £1 billion.

Other floats announced today included Liverpool-based discounter B&M European Value Retail, chaired by ex-Tesco boss Sir Terry Leahy, which could be worth £2 billion, and Hungarian low-cost airline Wizz Air, with a mooted valuation of  £1.2 billion.

Boutique fund manager River and Mercantile is the fourth new entrant, with a possible value of up to £200 million.

Zoopla chief executive Alex Chesterman played down concerns about the IPO market being flooded. “We think there is significant investor interest in our business, which is high growth and high margin,” said Chesterman, who set up Zoopla in 2007, after earlier success as a founder of movie rentals business LoveFilm. Chesterman’s 8 per cent stake is potentially worth £80 million.

He insisted Zoopla was not vulnerable if the housing market ran into problems. “The property market is still substantially below where it was in the early 2000s in terms of transactions and even pricing.”

Zoopla did not announce a valuation but investors including DMGT, a minority shareholder in the London Evening Standard, intend to sell at least 25 per cent.

DMGT chief financial officer Stephen Daintith hailed a “really healthy return”, saying the company has invested only £80 million in its digital property business. It could get a sixfold return.

The owner of the Daily Mail is also selling Jobsite as it exits most of its consumer-facing digital “classifieds” businesses after a decade of online expansion.

“We thought these businesses would be more likely to grow in the hands of others,” explained Daintith, who said DMGT will use the experience to help bolster MailOnline.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager - B2B, Corporate - City, London

£45000 - £50000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Neil Pavier: Commercial Analyst

£50,000 - £55,000: Neil Pavier: Are you a professionally qualified commercial ...

Loren Hughes: Financial Accountant

£45,000 - £55,000: Loren Hughes: Are you looking for a new opportunity that wi...

Sheridan Maine: Finance Analyst

Circa £45,000-£50,000 + benefits: Sheridan Maine: Are you a newly qualified ac...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
11 best bedside tables

11 best bedside tables

It could be the first thing you see in the morning, so make it work for you. We find night stands, tables and cabinets to wake up to
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her