The Big hit: Less-than-stellar flotations

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The Independent Online
William Hill. Or the share offer that never was. The City thought the price was too high but thousands of private investors had sent in their cheques before the bookmaker's float was abandoned by owners Nomura. Unlucky investors got their money back plus a voucher for two free bets at William Hill. This led to large numbers of posh punters asking bemused William Hill staff how to fill in a betting slip.

Computacenter. The computer services giant went off like a rocket at pounds 7.66 in May 1998 as part of the vogue for IT stocks - but then scared the punters by falling back to pounds 3.62. It's now at pounds 6.32 but it's been a roller-coaster ride for the ordinary shareholders.

Eurotunnel. The troubled tunnel operator lured investors with a warrants issue, but the share price was lower than the warrant exercise price by the time shares matured. Now it offers tasty perks for frequent travellers (30 per cent off all standard shuttle fares for an outlay of pounds 950). But its share price has been hammered: It's now 92.5p from 538p in September 1991.