A resurgence in IPOs is underway following the dearth of new listings seen during the coronavirus crisis.
Coppa Club and Tavolino owner Various Eateries this week announced plans to float on the junior market, 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 at the turn of the millennium.
Meanwhile, Blue Star Capital PLC’s (LON: BLU) investee Guild eSports, the esports team co-owned by David Beckham, is seeking a listing on the main market to fund recruitment of professional video gamers.
London has seen plenty of fundraisings this year from listed companies as early pandemic rescue issues to strengthen balance sheets turned into opportunistic fundraisers during the summer, particularly as the life sciences sector needed support for COVID-19 projects.
But after consultancy Elixirr launched the first ‘lockdown IPO’ in July, the market has made a decisive move to traditional growth capital according to finnCap Group PLC (LON:FCAP). The broker adds we should expect more flotations this winter, as companies are attracted by a functional regulatory framework allowing them to raise capital with relative ease.
“The equity capital markets have shown themselves to be a good place to be,” said Christopher Raggett, co-head of corporate finance at the broker. “IPOs are looking more attractive.”
Looking at this week’s performance, the AIM All-Share rose 0.9% to 955, underperforming the FTSE 100 index’s 3.8% jump to 6,022.
Among the risers, project portfolio and performance management software firm i-nexus Global PLC (LON:INX) soared 75% to 5p after boasting its sales pipeline was rebuilt to pre-coronavirus levels.
Elsewhere, recruiter Hydrogen Group PLC (LON:HYDG) climbed 43% after revealing plans to go private and buy out shareholders at 40p a share.
Meanwhile, Wameja Ltd (LON:WJA) surged 36% to 7p after agreeing a takeover by US payment colossus Mastercard for £96mln. The pair are joint venture partners in the HomeSend global payment hub.
Amryt Pharma PLC (LON:AMYT) rose 34% to 208p after posting strong results from studies of its gel for rare skin condition epidermolysis bullosa (EB) and it is now applying for speedy regulatory approval in both the US and EU.
Remaining in the biotech space, Redx Pharma PLC (LON:REDX) jumped 18% to 65p after unveiling a new collaboration with US company Jazz Pharmaceuticals to discover and develop two targeted cancer therapies.
Moving on, driver monitoring technology firm Seeing Machines Limited (LON:SEE) shot up 28% to 4p after signing an initial deal with a global semiconductor company to license its Occula Neural Processing Unit.
Turning to the fallers, Phimedix PLC (LON:PHM) slumped 78% to 0.9p after announcing it has until September 14 to instigate a reverse takeover, otherwise shares will be suspended. The cash shell also saw serial pharma and biotech entrepreneur Ali Mortazavi cut his stake to 10.72% from 13.5%.
In the oil sector, Hurricane Energy PLC (LON:HUR) tumbled 37% to 3p after admitting its offshore UK Lancaster field is more complex than previously thought and needs more work to assess reservoir performance.
Explorer Baron Oil PLC (LON:BOIL) shed 24% to 0.08p after interim losses widened.
Peer Upland Resources Ltd (LON:UPL) slipped 14% to 0.7p after chief executive Chris Pitman relinquished his role so the firm can now focus on sourcing and developing new business opportunities.
Commercial energy and sustainability advisor Inspired Energy shed 10% to 14p after profits for the half-year dropped 41% to £1.42mln due to coronavirus restrictions hitting its corporate energy consumption.
Finally, maritime communications specialist SRT Marine Systems PLC (LON:SRT) sank 7% to 38p after swinging to a £6.9mln loss in the year to March mostly due to a £3.9mln write-down of an existing contract in the Middle East.