The London Stock Exchange is getting its first major IPO since the coronavirus pandemic began and the biggest market debut by a British company in more than a year.
The Hut Group confirmed Thursday that it will go public later this month. The IPO is expected to raise £920 million ($1.2 billion) and value the e-commerce firm at £4.5 billion ($6 billion), according to a statement from the company.
Funds managed by BlackRock, Janus Henderson and the Qatar Investment Authority have committed to buying shares worth £565 million ($752 million) as part of the deal.
The Hut Group operates e-commerce websites Lookfantastic, Skinstore and Mankind, as well as beauty subscription brand Glossybox. The company also sells its own nutrition and beauty products. In 2019, sales increased 24% to £1.1 billion ($1.5 billion).
It will be the first London IPO to raise more than £500 million ($663 million) since mobile provider Airtel Africa and travel platform Trainline went public in June 2019, according to data provider Dealogic.
There are signs that the global IPO market is heading up as stocks continue to surge, reflecting pent-up demand among investors and a desire by companies to move quickly in case the pandemic sends markets reeling again.
The month of August was the hottest on record for public offerings in the United States, with 41 deals worth $16.4 billion, according to Dealogic. September is expected to be even busier.
Ant Group, the financial affiliate of billionaire Jack Ma’s tech company Alibaba (BABA), has filed for a concurrent listing in Hong Kong and on Shanghai’s Star Market, China’s Nasdaq-like tech board, that could be the biggest in history.
Palantir, the secretive Silicon Valley data analytics company, is preparing for an IPO of its own, and so is Airbnb, which filed confidential paperwork in late August for its debut listing.
— Julia Horowitz contributed reporting.