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International listings fuel IPO comeback

The number of Initial Public Offerings across Europe almost
doubled in the three months to September 2009, while the total value of all
deals nearly quadrupled ­ suggesting IPO investors are returning to the market
after a long drought, according to research from
PricewaterhouseCoopers.

The Big Four auditor’s figures show that between July and September 2009, a
traditionally quiet time for IPO activity, there were 44 IPOs across Europe,
raising almost E1.8bn. That compares to the previous quarter in which just 28
deals raised a far more modest E456m.

Ninety-seven percent of the cash raised by IPOs in Q3 2009 came from
international companies listing on European exchanges, led by the London Stock
Exchange which saw E873m raised by five listings, two on its main market, two on
the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) and one on the Professional Securities
Market. The London IPO of Rushydro, a Russian power generation company, raised
E424m on its own, while the second-largest IPO of the quarter was Tata Steel’s
listing of Global Depository Share Offerings which raised E355m.

Richard Weaver, a partner in PwC’s capital markets group, believes the
figures signal investors are beginning to return to the IPO market. That marks a
move away from the secondary offerings companies made to strengthen their
balance sheets in the first half of 2009. “With investor sentiment appearing to
improve and with a pent-up supply of private equity portfolio companies
considering an IPO exit, we continue to believe there will be a substantial
pick-up in IPO activity in the first half of 2010,” Weaver said.

The numbers compare with IPO trends for Q3 2009 in the US where 20 IPOs
raised just over E4bn, on the back of four international offerings from China
and Hong Kong, while Russia’s IPOs market saw no activity in the quarter.

“With some advisers taking the view that there will be a race to market once
the IPO window re-opens, our advice to those considering a listing would be to
get their preparations underway now and be ready to get their IPO out ahead of
the competition.”

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