UK sees highest number of IPOs since 2007 but outlook ‘uncertain’

Global IPOs hit record levels in 2021, with the UK alone witnessing 121 stock launches through the course of the year – its highest number since 2007.

Data from EY’s market tracker IPO Eye showed that IPOs raised a total of £16.3bn for the year in the UK, while $453.3bn (£334bn) was raised worldwide.

Globally, 2021 was the most active year for IPOs in the past two decades with markets seeing nearly 2,400 stock launches – a 64% increase year-on-year.

ii calls for greater retail access to IPOs as investors remain ‘locked out’ of opportunities

In sector terms, financial services, real estate and software saw some of the the largest IPOs in the UK for the last quarter of 2021, with Pantheon Infrastructure, Life Science REIT and Softline Holdings all raising over £300m from their respective floats.

The Life Science REIT, in particular, had to undertake a scaling-back exercise after being oversubscribed by around £50m.

Scott McCubbin, EY’s UK and Ireland IPO leader, commented: “Last year was an exceptional year for the UK IPO market, with companies taking advantage of the open market to list in record numbers.

“The outlook for 2022 is much less certain, with a number of prevailing headwinds, including inflationary pressures, which are likely to lead to interest rate rises and a move towards bond markets with more attractive yields. Supply chain issues and weaker consumer spending due to energy price rises also threatens market strength and may lead to a weaker equity market later in the year.”

Number of retail investors using vote to hold corporates accountable increases 110%

At a global level, Africa, Europe, India, and the Middle East recorded the highest growth in IPO activity among all regions (158% by number and 214% by proceeds), which EY said reflected the pent-up demand held back as European markets navigated Brexit and other geopolitical factors.

Helen Pratten, EY strategy and transactions partner, said: “The global and London markets have shown exceptional resilience in delivering record IPO numbers against the uncertainty of the Covid pandemic. However, whether this resilience can continue as other adverse factors come into play whilst the threat of new Covid variants is still present is open to debate.

“It is therefore crucial that IPO-bound companies adopt a resilient and flexible strategy that can adapt to shifting market conditions and geopolitical tensions.”

Global IPOs hit record levels in 2021, with the UK alone witnessing 121 stock launches through the course of the year – its highest number since 2007.

Data from EY’s market tracker IPO Eye showed that IPOs raised a total of £16.3bn for the year in the UK, while $453.3bn (£334bn) was raised worldwide.
Globally, 2021 was the most active year for IPOs in the past two decades with markets seeing nearly 2,400 stock launches – a 64% increase year-on-year.
ii calls for greater retail access to IPOs as investors remain ‘locked out’ of opportunities
In sector terms, financial services, real estate and software saw some of the the largest IPOs in the UK for the last quarter of 2021, with Pantheon Infrastructure, Life Science REIT and Softline Holdings all raising over £300m from their respective floats.
The Life Science REIT, in particular, had to undertake a scaling-back exercise after being oversubscribed by around £50m.
Scott McCubbin, EY’s UK and Ireland IPO leader, commented: “Last year was an exceptional year for the UK IPO market, with companies taking advantage of the open market to list in record numbers.
“The outlook for 2022 is much less certain, with a number of prevailing headwinds, including inflationary pressures, which are likely to lead to interest rate rises and a move towards bond markets with more attractive yields. Supply chain issues and weaker consumer spending due to energy price rises also threatens market strength and may lead to a weaker equity market later in the year.”
Number of retail investors using vote to hold corporates accountable increases 110%
At a global level, Africa, Europe, India, and the Middle East recorded the highest growth in IPO activity among all regions (158% by number and 214% by proceeds), which EY said reflected the pent-up demand held back as European markets navigated Brexit and other geopolitical factors.
Helen Pratten, EY strategy and transactions partner, said: “The global and London markets have shown exceptional resilience in delivering record IPO numbers against the uncertainty of the Covid pandemic. However, whether this resilience can continue as other adverse factors come into play whilst the threat of new Covid variants is still present is open to debate.
“It is therefore crucial that IPO-bound companies adopt a resilient and flexible strategy that can adapt to shifting market conditions and geopolitical tensions.”

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