The Hut Group Limited confirmed the offer price for its initial public offering (IPO) will be set at 500 per share, valuing the online health and beauty group at £5.4bn.
That is a market capitalisation higher than FTSE 100 constituents Rightmove and Morrison’s, valued at £5.3bn and £4.5bn respectively, and online shopping giant ASOS, worth £4.6bn on Thursday.
The IPO will offer 374mln shares worth £1.8bn and representing 35% of the shares in issue.
It would be one of the largest floats London has seen in the past few years and perhaps a beacon of hope in the dearth of new listings seen during the coronavirus crisis.
Hut Group will be biggest London IPO of 2020 at £4.5bn
Here’s how it compares
2019: Airtel Africa £3.1bn
2018: Aston Martin £4.3bn
2017: Allied Irish Banks €12bn
2016: Convatec £4.4bn
2015: Worldpay £4.8bn
— Jonathan Eley (@JonathanEley) September 4, 2020
But The Hut Group is not alone: after an unusually quiet six months, another four companies have rushed to announce their floating plans in the space of a week – with some pretty big names on the cards.
Guild eSports, the esports team co-owned by David Beckham, wants to raise £20mln via an IPO expected to value the whole company at £50mln, so it can recruit professional video gamers to play in Fortnite, CS:Go, Rocket League and FIFA.
Meanwhile, Bitcoin banking app Mode Global Holdings PLC, set up by internet boom entrepreneur Jonathan Rowland, is looking to join the market in early October with shares priced at 50p each and a valuation of £40mln.
In the real estate space, boutique investor Alvarium revealed plans to list Home REIT plc, a portfolio looking to help with homelessness in the UK, with an IPO of £250mln.
In the junior market, Coppa Club and Tavolino owner Various Eateries plc is hoping to raise up to £25mln to capitalise on the crisis in the hospitality industry.
The founder is restaurant superstar Hugh Osmond, who grew Pizza Express from a small chain of 12 restaurants to a 367-strong estate making £38mln of annual underlying earnings (EBITDA) in eight years.
In these uncertain and unprecedented times, it is hard to forecast whether the flurry of IPOs will continue in the winter.