Flotations raised £3.3bn for Northern firms

NORTHERN companies going public made up a quarter of the funds raised on the London stock markets in 2014.

According to IPO EYE research by accountancy group EY, the North recorded 15 flotations with a combined value of £3.33bn this year.

B&M Bargains’ listing raised £1.08bn, the second largest amount on the main market, and it was the largest by market capitalisation at £2.7bn, while Boohoo.com’s £300m listing raised the most funds and had the biggest market capitalisation on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM).

Six northern companies listed on the main market: B&M Bargains, AO World, Pets At Home, Card Factory, Polypipe Group and Clipper Logistics. They collectively raised £2.63bn and helped the total value of IPOs on the main market reach £10.88bn across 34 listings.

On AIM, there were nine Northern IPOs with a total value of £699m: Boohoo.com, ENTU, C4X Discovery, DJI Holdings, Flowtech Fluidpower, Manx Telecom, Xeros Technology Group, 4d Pharma and Quantum Pharma. In total 66 companies listed on AIM raising £2.34bn.

Richard Harding, transaction support partner and IPO Leader at EY in the North West, said: “The stabilising economy and an inflow of cash rich institutional investors opened the IPO market at the back end of 2013 and helped it to what has been an outstanding 2014 overall. This was buoyed by private equity firms rediscovering the IPO market as lucrative exit route for assets they had been holding on to throughout the downturn.

“Companies with market differentiation, robust profitability, strong management and good expansion prospects have led the way for the region and the market as a whole, while innovative technology and pharma companies have listed and performed well on AIM. For many, 2014 will be remembered as the year when a host of outstanding Northern businesses helped to lead the revival of the London markets. However, it will also be remembered as a year of two halves, with the public markets cooling down significantly from September.”