London could be about to see £11bn stock market flotation – the biggest in six years

Private equity firm Blackstone rumoured to be seeking a sale of warehouse giant Logicor

Josie Co,Ben Chapman
Friday 13 January 2017 14:51
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The stock market had a lacklustre 2016 as uncertainty scuppered a series of deals
The stock market had a lacklustre 2016 as uncertainty scuppered a series of deals

London could be about to witness its biggest stock exchange listing in around six years.

European warehouse company Logicor, which is valued at a bumper £11bn and currently owned by the private equity giant Blackstone, is aiming to go public on the City’s stock exchange some time during the first six months of this year, according to City AM.

If successful, the deal would be the biggest initial public offering in London since commodity giant Glencore went public in 2011, at a valuation of £36bn. It would also likely inject fresh energy into the market for UK listings, which has endured a rollercoaster ride since June’s shock Brexit vote, exacerbated by political uncertainty in the US.

Several planned stock market listings were put on hold or scrapped at the end of last year. Companies floating in the UK raised just £3.5bn in 2016, less than half the £7.6bn the previous year, London Stock Exchange data shows.

City AM reported on Friday that Logicor owner Blackstone could also consider a sale or a listing elsewhere, but a London float is understood to be the most likely outcome.

A large deal could revive what has been a somewhat lacklustre market and some experts see positive signs for the year ahead.

The number of international companies seeking a listing is increasing, according to Lucy Tarleton, a director in the capital markets team at PwC.

“The economy hasn’t faltered as much as we’d thought, commodity prices are stabilising and the FTSE 100 is at an all-time high,” Ms Tarleton said, adding that she was “hopeful” 2017 will be stronger than 2016.

Others are more cautious about hailing a turning point, however. “We are still in turbulent times. You’ve got Donald Trump’s inauguration and the triggering of Article 50 in March,” Scott McCubbin, a partner and IPO leader at EY, told The Independent.

“With Trump we don’t know what his policies are going to be - are they protectionist? Are they pro-business? And if there’s one thing the IPO market doesn’t like is uncertainty.”

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