At Long Last, a U.K. IPO Recovery?

Burns, Mairin
June 2003
Investment Dealers' Digest;6/30/2003, Vol. 69 Issue 26, p9
Trade Publication
The equity market in Great Britain is showing signs of echoing the slight but steady recovery that its sister equity market across the Atlantic is experiencing. While it is easy to dismiss this new optimism as being overblown — after all, there have only been seven initial public offerings (IPO) in the country so far this year — European players are growing convinced that redemption is at last on hand. European market players say it's not the number of recent deals but the way they have been received that is causing excitement. The deal was led by reinsurance giant Benfield Group Ltd.'s £ 157 million IPO, one of two companies to have listed on the London Stock Exchange this month. The deal was very successful. It was more than 10 times oversubscribed even after being upsized and has performed well in the aftermarket. Bankers said the deal's popularity was due in part to generous pricing and to underwriters with a good sense of timing. The deal came at 250 pence per share, below the wider end of the offered 200-to-260 pence range, despite the overwhelming demand, leading bankers to applaud bookrunners Merrill Lynch & Co. and Morgan Stanley for their restraint.


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