You got me floatin'

1

By Peter Robinson

Just finished an article on Initial Public Offerings in the European Market (“back on track or the end of a good run?”). A really interesting read which made me think, generally, about the discussions I’ve had recently with businesses considering IPO opportunities, and also what the North has seen in the last couple of years.

2008 – 2012 was obviously a tough period for IPOs (as well as for everyone else) but 2013 through 2014 showed a far stronger performance generally.

The North East was pretty quiet 2008 – 2012 on that front too. Reflecting the overall trend, however, Utilitywise gained its admission to AIM in mid 2012, marking the first IPO in the North East for 5 odd years. Since then we’ve had the IPOs of Applied Graphene Materials (2013); Kromek (2013), Virgin Money (2014) Quantum Pharmaceuticals (2014) and more recently SCS, which returned to the London Stock Exchange in January 2015. A good run.

According to EY, in fact, IPO’s of northern businesses accounted for a quarter of the funds raised on admission to public markets in 2014. A very good run.

The whys and wherefores for IPOs are various but the key drivers are the desire and the ability to raise capital. Certainly the opportunity isn’t for everyone. But for the right business, the right team, and the right story at the right time, the track is there, and it’s been well followed in the last couple of years.

 


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