Business World

Wednesday 21 August 2019

European IPO market suffers near-50pc drop after Brexit fears bite

Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange. Photo: Reuters
Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange. Photo: Reuters
Ellie Donnelly

Ellie Donnelly

The amount of money raised from initial public offerings in Europe has fallen almost 50pc year-on-year, according to a report from consulting group PwC.

IPO markets across the continent raised €12.1bn in the first six months of 2019, a considerable fall on the €22bn witnessed in the same period last year.

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Activity was particularly quiet at the start of the year, with geopolitical tensions and looming Brexit deadlines causing businesses and markets to exercise caution.

This now appears to be less of a concern, according to Denis O'Connor, partner at PwC Ireland.

"While there have been fewer small deals in this [second] quarter, we have seen a number of major transactions," Mr O'Connor said. "This has included a good number of private equity-backed companies that delivered significant investor demand and positive after-market performance," he added.

The UK's Trainline, headed by Dubliner Clare Gilmartin, is among the top five European company debuts so far this year, raising €1.2bn on the London Stock Exchange.

In Ireland, earlier this month pharmaceuticals group Uniphar became the first company to float this year on Euronext Dublin, formerly the Irish Stock Exchange, after a number of listings were postponed citing market turbulence late in 2018.

Elsewhere, Irish software company Fineos floated in Sydney last week.

Meanwhile, despite concerns about Britain's forthcoming exit from the European Union, London remains the first choice for European companies when listing.

It accounted for 42pc of IPO values in the first half of the year.

It was followed by Italy's Borsa, where six IPOs - led by payments group Nexi - raised €2.1bn.

Globally, IPOs are down 28pc year-on-year, at $82.2bn (€74bn).

Irish Independent

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