A boom in companies going public has propelled the London stock market to its best start to the year since 2006.
Deliveroo, Dr Martens and Moonpig were among 25 companies that raised £7.17billion on their debuts on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) in the first three months of 2021.
This was the most raised in 15 years – just shy of £7.24billion made in the first quarter of 2006 – and included listings on the main market and the Alternative Investment Market.
It was also the highest number of floats since 2015, when 29 companies went public. The trend is set to continue. Cambridge-based cyber security group Darktrace – valued at £2.2billion – is plotting a listing this year and online retirement firm Pension Bee is expected to float this month.
But the much-vaunted Deliveroo debut last week turned into an embarrassing flop that left retail investors who backed the takeaway group nursing heavy losses.
Its shares tumbled from 390p when it launched to 282p by Thursday’s close, indicating investors think it was overvalued and that it faces challenges on issues such as employee rights. Data from the LSE showed 10 of the 25 floats were of tech and consumer internet businesses.
Online card retailer Moonpig raised £540m at its debut in February, while Danish review site Trustpilot made £473m.
Footwear brand Dr Martens – a favourite of Thatcher-era punks, students and skinheads – stomped from its £1.5billion float straight into the FTSE 250.
Smaller companies include David Beckham-backed cannabis group Cellular Goods and meal delivery group Parsley Box. Many paused plans to float during the turmoil brought on by the pandemic.
They were also cautious ahead of Brexit, which took place on December 31, in case it disrupted trading rules. The 25 listings in 2021 compares with eight in 2020 and five in 2019.