Overall secondary offerings have reached £14.7 billion across 135 transactions in the UK for the year to date, according to new analysis from Deloitte. A secondary offering refers to the sale of shares in a listed company occurring after a company’s IPO, with the transaction taking place through either London’s Main Market or AIM.
Prior to the lockdown in the UK, the amount of money raised in January and February 2020 was almost twice that of the same period in 2019 (£3.4 billion vs £1.9 billion), signalling increased business optimism. Despite a drop in March, April and May both saw elevated levels of equity fundraising in London.
Chris Nicholls, Head of Equity and PLC Advisory at Deloitte, said: “The UK market has very much been open for existing listed companies seeking additional equity capital, including those from the retail and hospitality sectors. Typically this has been to strengthen balance sheets and improve liquidity in the wake of the pandemic. I would expect fundraising activity to continue into the rest of the year, albeit with only a modest trickle of IPOs.”
Since 23 March this year, the FTSE 100 and S&P 500 have risen 29.8% and 42.8% respectively, boosted by the gradual reopening of world economies and bold government and central bank stimulus measures. However, volatility levels remain elevated compared to long-term averages with the global VIX Index currently in the region of 24, substantially higher than the 2019 average of approximately 15.
Chris Nicholls concludes: “Whilst volatility has substantially reduced from March levels, any VIX reading above 20 traditionally represents a difficult environment in which to launch IPOs. However, global equity markets are recovering strongly from the unprecedented shock to the economy caused by COVID-19.”