After global Initial Public Offerings (IPOs) hit a 10 year high last year, Hargreaves Lansdown reveals five of the top companies said to be considering an IPO in 2018.
Last year saw global Initial Public Offerings (IPOs) rebound from the lows of 2016, with almost 1,700 companies floating worldwide during the year – the highest number since 2007.
Sarah Coles, personal finance analyst at leading financial services company Hargreaves Lansdown, highlights the top five companies said to be considering floating in 2018...
Owned by a combination of Kuwaiti and private equity investors, the James Bond icon is said to be considering a £5bn London listing this year.
The group delivered over 5,000 vehicles last year, the first time it has done so since 2008. Management expect to beat previous guidance for 2018 by £180m of EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) on £840m of revenues, as retail sales jumped 58%.
An IPO this year would come ahead of Aston Martin’s entry into the increasingly popular SUV category. Production of the DBX is expected to start at the group’s Welsh manufacturing facility by 2019.
Sky Betting & Gaming
It’s the second year in a row the SkyBet owner has made it onto this list.
Private Equity firm CVC bought an 80% stake in Sky’s betting arm back in 2014, and there were rumours an IPO was on the cards in September 2016. However, while CEO Richard Flint acknowledged CVC will be looking to exit at some point, and an IPO is a possibility, no timescale was given.
21st Century Fox’s planned acquisition of Sky, and Disney’s subsequent bid for Fox, has altered the situation somewhat. Sky still owns 20% of the business and it’s unclear whether Disney will choose to keep SkyBet following the acquisition.
The group has no gambling operations elsewhere, and faces strict regulation in the US. It pulled licences to use Star Wars and Marvel intellectual property in slot machines in the US, as it seeks to protect its family friendly image. That might put an IPO back on the cards.
MRH is a long way from being a household name, but as the UK’s largest independent petrol retailer there’s a fairly strong chance you’ve visited one of the group’s 450+ petrol stations.
The group serves 2.5m customers every week, and its partnerships with BP, Shell and Esso see it sell up to 2.5bn litres of fuel a year. Petrol sales are supplemented by the group’s Hurst convenience stores (of which there are 296) and retail partnerships with Costa, Greggs and Subway.
MRH is currently owned by private equity group Lone Star, which acquired it in 2016.
The back and forth on the possible IPO of the Saudi state oil company looks like it will stretch further into 2018.
Saudi Aramco recently changed its legal status in preparation for what would be the largest initial public offering in history. The Saudi Arabian government has valued the group at as much as $2tn, although some industry analysts have suggested a lower price.
While the shares look likely to list on the domestic Tadawul stock exchange, it’s not yet clear whether this will be accompanied by an off-market sale to a few large investors or a public listing on an international exchange.
If a public offering wins out, London, New York and Hong Kong are all said to be in with a chance of being the new home for at least part of this oil giant.
GEMS is an international private school group, led by former Eton headmaster Tony Little, with 250 schools in 13 countries. Founded in Dubai, the Middle East remains the group’s centre of gravity. But schools in Europe, Africa, Asia, and North America mean it’s an increasingly global operation, with 6 distinct curricula.
High end education has proven good for the group’s books with revenue growing 17% in 2016 to $926.2m. It’s currently owned by a coalition of investment funds, with the owners said to be considering a $4.5bn-$5bn float this year.
Coles said: “Investors are always keenly watching for an opportunity to learn about floatation opportunities, as we saw with Royal Mail, Direct Line and interest in the Lloyds Share Offer that never was.
"It’s hardly surprising, because it’s an opportunity to get into a business at the start of its public life, and big brand, household names often attract first time investors.”
Our BQ Bulletin emails will land in your inbox at 7.30am, Monday to Friday, with a mix of the latest local business news, national news, and features to inspire you. Sign up here!
Click here to read our privacy statement